AL, BNP to stage show of strength on Jan 5 | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 01, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:15 AM, January 01, 2018

AL, BNP to stage show of strength on Jan 5

The ruling Awami League and the BNP are planning to stage huge shows of strength in the capital and elsewhere on January 5.

The AL high-ups have already instructed their leaders in Dhaka and the grassroots to observe January 5 as the “democracy and constitution saving day” colourfully and widely.

The AL's main political rival the BNP plans to hold a rally in the capital to observe the day as the “black day when democracy was killed”.

Party leaders said if they were not allowed to hold the rally, tougher programmes would be announced across the country.

“The BNP and its key ally Jamaat wanted to destroy the country's democracy in an attempt to foil the January 5, 2014 elections. The Awami League foiled the conspiracy by holding the January 5 election and led the country towards development,” AL Presidium Member Abdur Razzaque told The Daily Star last night.

Razzaque said thwarting BNP-Jamaat's “conspiracy and their heinous activities to take the country backward, Bangladesh is heading towards a middle-income country under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina”.

“We will highlight the country's success in the socioeconomic and cultural arena in the rallies in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country,” he added.

The last parliamentary election was held on January 5, 2014, amid controversy as the BNP, main opposition in the immediate past parliament, and most other political parties boycotted the polls. As a result, 154 lawmakers were elected uncontested in the 10th parliament.

“We have asked Dhaka Metropolitan Police and the Public Works Department for permission to hold a rally on Suhrawardy Udyan on January 5 to observe the democracy killing day. We are yet to get any response from the authorities concerned,” Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, senior joint secretary general of BNP, told The Daily Star.

The central leaders of BNP have been making field visits across the country to send a message to the party leaders and activists that they should prepare for the election and movement simultaneously.

“We will contest the polls. The government is not a civilised one. If the government paid no heed to our demand for election under a non-partisan government, we would have no alternative but to go for a movement,” said BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed.

The ruling AL has meanwhile chalked out programmes to mark the day with galas at two places in the capital.

Besides, similar programmes will be held at district and upazila headquarters, AL Joint General Secretary Mahbubul Haque Hanif told The Daily Star.

In 2015, during the first anniversary of the elections, the country's political environment heated up after the AL wanted to observe the “victory of democracy day” and BNP “a black day when democracy was killed”.

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