BNP mulls fresh ultimatum
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia is likely to give Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's administration another ultimatum for restoration of the caretaker government system in today's mass rally in the capital, party sources said.
Khaleda, also chief of BNP-led 18-party opposition alliance, is unlikely to announce any tough political programmes like hartal and blockade at the rally to be held in front of BNP's Naya Paltan head office.
Like the other two showdowns on March 12 and June 11, the crisis-riddled Jamaat-e-Islami has planned to dominate today's rally by gathering its huge number of activists, party insiders said.
Today's showdown would be the BNP-led 18-party alliance's third one in the last nine months and the first since July.
After obtaining permission from Dhaka Metropolitan Police yesterday, the 18-party alliance leaders were busy in their last moment efforts towards ensuring huge gathering like that of March 12 and June 11 when tens of thousands of party activists and supporters had gathered at Naya Paltan.
Last month, the alliance had announced to hold a mass rally in the capital on November 22. They later shifted the programme today to press home their bunch of demands including the one for restoring caretaker government and holding next general polls under it.
While addressing thousands of supporters in the March 12 rally, the BNP chief gave the Hasina administration a 90-day ultimatum to announce the restoration of the caretaker system.
In the June 11 rally, she gave another ultimatum to the government and threatened to announce tougher agitation programmes like hartal, blockade and mass sit-in after Eid-ul-Fitr if the government failed to meet their demands.
Talking to this correspondent yesterday, BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed said the party chairperson might announce series of long term programmes as part of the party's ongoing anti-government movement.
The BNP chief hold talks with her party's senior leaders and 18-party alliance leaders before finalising the alliance's next course of action, he said.
"We have long time ahead of us. People's support for us is increasing day by day. And time will come when stern political programmes like hartal, blockade will be needed,â€ Moudud added.
Lt Gen (retd) Mahbubur Rahman, another standing committee member of BNP, said he did not think that tough programmes like hartal, blockade would be announced from today's mass rally.