BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, flanked by party leaders, places a wreath at the grave of party founder and former president Ziaur Rahman in the capital yesterday, the 36th anniversary of the party's inception, in 1978. Photo: Star
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday did not attend the party's 36th founding anniversary discussion in the capital though she was supposed to do so.
It was the second time in less than two weeks she skipped a scheduled programme. On August 19, she did not show up at the 20-party alliance's rally at the capital's Suhrawardy Udyan.
Though Khaleda has not addressed the party anniversary discussions in the last several years, she would attend and listen to the leaders' speeches.
Yesterday, a chair was reserved for her and her name was splashed across the banner put at the stage of the programme in the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh (IEB).
The party top leadership could not say why she was absent.
Wishing anonymity, an executive committee leader of the party told The Daily Star, "We also asked the high-ups why madam did not turn up. They failed to give an answer. It ashamed us because we mentioned her name in the banner and kept a chair for her."
Khaleda, however, flanked by party leaders, placed a wreath and offered prayers at the grave of ex-president and BNP founder Ziaur Rahman in the capital yesterday morning.
Shamsur Rahman Shimul Biswas, personal assistant to the BNP chief, told The Daily Star last night, "Usually madam did not attend such events... The party keeps her name in the banner and reserves a chair to encourage the leaders and activists."
At the discussion, BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir vowed to restore the people's voting rights through a tougher anti-government movement under Khaleda's leadership.