It's our fight for existence | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 12, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 12, 2011

It's our fight for existence


BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has directed her party leaders to put in their best to make the party's anti-government agitation programme including hartal a success but asked them to avoid arrest tactfully.
"We have to fight against the government for a long time. Keep yourselves safe so you can carry on a long-term movement," party sources quoted Khaleda as saying at a closed-door meeting at her Gulshan office in the capital on Thursday night.
She gave a set of directives and suggestions before the party finalised its decision on a countrywide 36-hour hartal from today.
Khaleda shared her views about the anti-government movement with mid-level leaders including presidents and general secretaries of the party's front and associate bodies.
The leader of the opposition in parliament told them they do not need to take to the streets during the hartal as a large number of police and ruling party cadres will be there to resist the opposition programme. So, the government's action will be enough to make the hartal successful, she added.
Khaleda asked the leaders to organise party workers to boost the organisational strength, and avoid attack and arrest by law enforcers.
She also held her first meeting with leaders of the newly formed Dhaka city committee of BNP on Thursday night and made same suggestions.
"It's our fight for existence. There is no scope for compromise. So, get ready for a long-term movement," sources quoted Khaleda as saying at the meeting.
Party insiders said the chairperson decided to call hartal one after another if the caretaker government system is scrapped from the constitution. Even 48-hour and 72-hour-long hartal may be announced.
"Last hartal [on June 5] was successful as people's support was spontaneous and that proves people expect more hartals to protect the caretaker system," Khaleda said.
This government lost public support a long time ago, and the opposition has to capitalise on the situation by standing beside people, she added.
The general secretary of a front organisation of the main opposition BNP said, "Madam [Khaleda] seemed determined about the agitation. We were there (the meeting with her) for a short time but within that time she repeatedly referred to 1990s mass upsurge and asked us to prepare for such a movement."
Parties in the BNP-led opposition have already expressed support for the agitation aimed to build a mass upsurge against the ruling Awami League, said party sources.

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