The BNP-led 18-party opposition combine has called a 60-hour countrywide hartal (shutdown) from Monday morning demanding a non-party polls-time government for overseeing the next parliamentary election.
The declaration of the fresh agitation programme came today while BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir was briefing newsmen on the opposition combine’s decision to convert its three-day blockade into a 60-hour hartal.
The opposition combine declared the hartal that will start from 6:00am Monday instead of the blockade after a secretary-general level meeting of the alliance at BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s Gulshan office.
On October 29, the BNP decided to go for a three-day blockade of roads, rail and waterways from Monday to force the government to concede its key demand that led to the ongoing political impasse.
The vehicles belonging to the media, hajj pilgrims and urgent service providing organisations however would be kept out of the hartal purview, Fakhrul said during the briefing at the same venue around 11:20am today.
The opposition combine decided to enforce the shutdown to protest what Fakhrul termed “the government’s plan to hold a one-sided election”.
The government does not want a consensus though it invited the opposition leader for a dialogue, the BNP leader alleged.
Terming the disclosure of phone conversation between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and opposition leader Khaleda Zia as a violation of law and fundamental rights, Fakhrul said today the government published the phone talk as part of its conspiracy to foil the dialogue initiative and eventually halt the path of consensus.
Earlier on October 26, Hasina phoned Khaleda and invited her to Gono Bhaban, the official residence of the premier, for a dialogue over the polls-time government.
During the conversation, the PM also urged the opposition leader to withdraw the hartal.
But Khaleda did not entertain the request saying she was ready to sit anywhere and anytime for a dialogue after the hartal.
Later, the phone conversation was published in the media including different television channels and newspapers.