BNP's vote boycott campaign likely to start from Friday
The BNP and like-minded political parties are likely to start campaigns on Friday to dissuade voters from casting ballots on January 7, said party sources.
They will open the campaigns with distribution of leaflets to discourage voters from going to the polling centres so that the election can be proved to be a "lopsided contest" locally and internationally.
The BNP's top leaders held several virtual meetings with the party's former and prospective MP candidates to draw up the campaign strategy.
"Amid hartals and blockades, public engagement programmes like distribution of leaflets or social media campaigns will be carried out to discourage voters from going to the polling centres," said a BNP standing committee member wishing not to be named.
According to sources, a top BNP leader in a virtual address today will call upon the people to boycott the polls. The leader may announce fresh agitation programmes.
"The party high-ups will deliver important speeches tomorrow [today] and make important announcements regarding the movement programmes," Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, senior joint secretary general of BNP, said.
Party sources said when the movement would reach its peak at the end of December, the party may urge the people not to go to offices, and not to operate personal vehicles and factories.
"A non-cooperation movement may start from the end of December. However, the decision is yet to be finalised," a senior BNP leader told The Daily Star.
The BNP has enforced a series of hartals and blockades since October 29 to press home its one-point demand -- resignation of the government and general election under a non-party neutral administration. Many BNP leaders believe that holding such tough programmes frequently have made those largely ineffective.
The party held two rallies on December 10 and December 16 which helped boosting the morale of the rank and file, the leaders added.
Party leaders said during several recent meetings of the party's top leadership with the former and prospective MP candidates, a message was sent to the grassroots that the anti-government movement would continue even if the national election is held on January 7.
Speaking at those meetings, party leaders said the January 7 election is already questionable due to the "drama" over seat-sharing between the ruling Awami League and some other political parties.
BNP sources said steps have been taken to intensify the movement based on electoral constituencies.
Saiful Haque, general secretary of Biplobi Workers Party, a platform waging the simultaneous movement with the BNP, said they will urge the people to boycott the polls.
"We will organise a programme to send our message [on boycotting elections] to every houses," he added.