BNP goes for fresh agitation
The BNP yesterday announced that it would hold divisional rallies on February 4 as part of the ongoing simultaneous movement by the party and its like-minded political platforms.
The opposition party made the announcement from a rally in front of its Nayapaltan headquarters in the capital. The Dhaka north and south city units of the party organised the event marking the "democracy killing day".
Traffic was disrupted on one lane of the road in front of the BNP office as the other lane was blocked during the rally.
Speaking at the programme, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir announced that the party will stage divisional rallies on February 4 protesting the "killings and repression" by the Awami League government, and demanding the prices of essentials and electricity be cut.
"The incumbent government has restored Baksal [one party rule] in disguise of democracy. Now it is plotting to hold an election of mockery and drama, but people will not allow such an election this time," he said.
Fakhrul alleged that the AL killed democracy, and it was destroying people's hopes and dreams every day. "This Awami League government must be unseated through a movement."
Criticising the ruling party for announcing counter-programmes on the day of BNP's demonstrations, he said the AL was doing this out of "fear of losing power".
About the coming presidential election, the BNP leader said, "Which presidential election is going to be held? The president doesn't have any power. The president cannot do anything without having the opinion of the prime minister. That's why we have put forward a proposal for state reforms in which we have mentioned about bringing a balance of power to the prime minister and the president."
Coming down hard on the government for errors in new school textbooks, Fakhrul demanded corrections as some contents which were not in keeping with the country's history and culture were included in those.
Painting a gloomy picture of the country's economy, he said the situation has become so grave that the economy is "on the verge of collapse".
"The main problem is that Awami League considers the country to be its parental property, and that no one has any say about the country. That's why the ruling party men have indulged in massive corruption."
The BNP secretary general said time is running out for the government and it has to step down now.
Party leaders Khairul Kabir Khokon, Fazlul Huq Milon and Sheikh Rabiul Islam joined the rally hours after walking out of jail on bail. The programme was chaired by Dhaka South city BNP Convener Abdus Salam.
Party leaders and activists from different wards of the capital took part in the rally. Many were seen wearing colourful caps, carrying banners and posters. They chanted anti-government slogans and demanded release of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.
A large number of law enforcers were deployed in and around the rally venue to avert any untoward incident.
Also yesterday, Gonotantra Moncho, an alliance of some opposition political parties, held its rally in front of the Jatiya Press Club yesterday.
Speaking at the event, top leaders of the alliance reaffirmed that the unity of its components was intact and it would remain so in future.
After the formation of the alliance, there was a rumor that its leaders became divided, and the combine could split anytime.
From the rally, alliance leaders also announced the same demonstration programme for February 4.
Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami didn't observe any programme simultaneously with the BNP and its like-minded parties. The party, however, in a press release yesterday claimed that it held the programme indoors.