Stop celebrating Aug 15 birthday
Krishak Sramik Janata League President Kader Siddiqui yesterday urged BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia to refrain from observing her birthday on August 15 as Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was assassinated on that day, though he believes it is her real birthday.
He also requested her for not to make any objectionable remarks against Bangabandhu at any level and reconsider the relation with those, who were against the country's independence, in the party as well as the alliance.
Siddiqui however agreed with BNP's stance on the caretaker government system and the fifteenth amendment but said his party will take a decision regarding the main opposition's invitation to join the anti-government movement after his possible meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Siddiqui, the legendary war hero, made the request at a meeting with Khaleda, also leader of the opposition, at her Gulshan residence. He highly appreciated the BNP chairperson for her warm attitude towards him during the meeting that continued from 6:00pm to 7:20pm. BNP acting Secretary General Mirza Fakrul Islam Alamgir, Krishak Sramik Janata League General Secretary Habibur Rahman Talukder and Siddiqui's wife Nasrin Kader Siddiqui was present in the meeting. This was the first political meeting Khaleda had in her new home in Gulshan.
"I told her that I have problems to work jointly with those who were against our independence. I requested her not to make any derogatory comments about Bangabandhu so that we don't get hurt," Siddiqui said after a post-meeting joint briefing at Khaleda's political office in Gulshan with BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
"Bangabandhu was assassinated on August 15, 1975. I urged her not to observe her birthday the way it is being observed. However, I saw her 1972's passport where it was mentioned as her birthday," Siddiqui added.
Asked what Khaleda's reaction to his requests was, he replied, "I was assured and convinced over the discussion with her. But it's true she is the leader of a big party. They will inform me about their decision later.
"I agree with BNP's stance on the caretaker government issue. People want this system. The government should reinstate the system in the next parliament session and restore 'faith on almighty Allah' in the constitution," he said, adding, it is Khaleda Zia's statesmanship to take steps against the fifteenth amendment.
Asked about the unity with BNP, he said, "I will inform the media about my decision in consultation with my party leaders after holding a meeting with the prime minister."
Mirza Alamgir thanked Siddiqui, also a former Awami League leader, for meeting the BNP chairperson at her residence and said the process for unity will continue. Siddiqui quit AL in 1999 and formed his own party.
Earlier on July 19, Mirza Alamgir met Siddiqui at his Mohammadpur residence and conveyed the invitation on behalf of the chairperson to meet her.
The meeting was held as part of BNP's initiative to bring highest number of political parties under a common platform to forge a tougher movement to compel the government to restore the caretaker government system.
Khaleda will also hold meetings with the chiefs of those parties who want to see continuation of the system to oversee the next parliamentary elections.