BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir yesterday said the incumbent government would not be able to realise its due share of the Teesta water, as it had given "everything" to India, and did not have any bargaining chip left.
"The government has given transit, corridor to India, and let it use the Chittagong port," Fakhrul told a rally at Azampur of the capital's Uttara during the inauguration the party's two-day long march towards Teesta Barrage in Lalmonirhat, demanding fair share of the river water.
He also said the incumbent government was not elected by the people, so it could not establish the people's rights to the Teesta water. Fakhrul said this was the reason why everyone should raise their voice and strengthen the movement for an immediate national election. He said the march was launched to protect the rights of the people; it was not against the government.
Senior BNP leaders who addressed several street rallies on their way slammed the government for its failure to realise Bangladesh's fair share despite growing public demand.
“We have the right to get the due share of the Teesta water but our government has failed to realise it from India. We must establish this right,” Fakhrul told a rally at Jalfoy in Tangail sadar.
Party insiders said that in the name of the long march, BNP was trying to cheer up its leaders and activists across the country to strengthen its anti-government movement.
People's participation in the street rallies was very poor. There were around 200 to 300 people on average in the first two rallies at Kaliakoir of Gazipur and Jalfoy of Tangail. But participation rose to around 400 to 500 in the four subsequent rallies in Sirajganj, Bogra and Gaibandha, which are considered BNP strongholds.
After the Azampur rally, the BNP leaders held six rallies on the way to Rangpur urging the party leaders and activists to stand united for strengthening the movement to oust the government.
After a short speech by Fakhrul, around 200 leaders and activists started the long march from Uttara around 9:00am. An hour and a half later, the motorcade of some 50 vehicles stopped on Kaliakoir bypass road where Fakhrul addressed another brief rally.
The party leaders will stay the night in Rangpur and will hold a rally in the city at 9:00am today before starting off towards the barrage. The march would end after another public rally in Dalia area of Hatibandha upazila of Lalmonirhat at 11:00am today.
The BNP-led 19-party alliance in a meeting on Thursday night extended its support for the programme.