AL calls for unity among party activists
The Awami League yesterday called upon its activists to stay united and maintain discipline ahead of the national election.
"Please don't be involved in any chaos. We have to be patient ... If you see any chaos, inform the law enforcement agencies. I request you, please don't get into any trouble with the BNP," AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader told a rally before the party brought out a procession, which it called "a march for peace and development."
"If we are united, no force can defeat us," he said.
Dhaka city (south) unit AL organised the procession that started from the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh (IEB), and ended at Dhanmondi-32. The programme was apparently to counter the BNP's road march.
The ruling AL also brought out processions in all cities and districts under Rajshahi, Chattogram, Barishal and Sylhet divisions.
The BNP yesterday held the programme to realise its one-point demand for polls under a non-party interim government.
Although the event in the capital was scheduled to start at 3:0pm, AL leaders and activists started thronging the venue since 1:30pm.
Within hours, the streets in front of IEB and Matsya Bhaban, and the other street leading to Shahbagh intersection were brimming with activists of AL, Chhatra League, Jubo League and Swechchhasebak League.
After 3:00pm, police suspended vehicular movement from Matsya Bhaban to Shahbagh intersection, causing tailbacks on nearby streets.
As the procession advanced towards Dhanmondi-32 through Mirpur Road, its adjacent streets saw traffic jams.
A large number of participants were on motorbikes and pickups.
Many wore colourful T-shirts and caps. They were carrying banners and placards written in favour of the party.
The procession marched through Shahbagh, Elephant Road and Mirpur Road before it ended at Dhanmondi Road-32 around 6:30pm.
Meanwhile, to counter the BNP's road march, the AL will today bring out another such procession from the capital's Satrasta intersection to Mahakhali at 3:00pm.
Addressing the brief rally held in front of IEB, Quader said the BNP's road march is actually its "march towards defeat".
"What did [Mirza] Fakhrul [Islam Alamgir] say today? He said their road march programme is a 'victory march'. Actually it is their march towards defeat, towards fall," he said.
"Has the European Union [delegation] given [the BNP] a caretaker government? Did it say anything about the resignation of [Prime Minister] Sheikh Hasina and her government? What has the BNP got? Nothing."
Quader added that the BNP thought the US delegation that recently visited the country would ask the government to restore the caretaker government system or would ask for dialogue. But the delegation returned without giving anything to the BNP.
He reiterated that there would be no caretaker government system and there is no question of resignation of the government. "Sheikh Hasina will lead the polls-time government."
"We will not move a bit from this stance. Whatever threats the BNP issue, the Awami League will not bow to anyone."
AL Presidium Member Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya said, "We will face them [the BNP] on the street."
Among others, AL Presidium Member Mostafa Jalal Mohiuddin, Joint General Secretary AFM Bahauddin Nasim, organising secretaries Mirza Azam and SM Kamal Hossain also spoke at the rally.