BNP plans to hold rallies in 10 divisional headquarters

 BNP Dhaka rally

Considering its recent demonstrations "a success", the BNP now plans to hold public rallies in 10 divisional headquarters from October 8.

It has decided to do so to keep "its presence on the streets" and up the tempo of its ongoing movement.

The rallies -- protesting the price hike of essentials and fuel, and the killing of four of its activists in the past two months -- are supposed to begin on October 8 in Chattogram and end in Dhaka on December 10.

They will be held once a week, party sources said.

"The standing committee finalised the programmes at a meeting on Monday night. So far, we found all the programmes in and outside the capital to be successful. The attitude and the body language of the party leaders and activists is very encouraging," a standing committee member, preferring anonymity, told The Daily Star.

Contacted, Iqbal Hasan Mahmud Tuku, another member of the party's standing committee, said they will decide on the next course of action once the rallies are over.

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir will hold a press conference at Chairperson Khaleda Zia's Gulshan office today and  announce the rallies.

The previous 16 protest programmes in Dhaka North and South ended yesterday.

The party, however, was unable to hold two scheduled rallies in Pallabi and Lalbagh, and it has decided to hold those next week, party leaders said.

The BNP has also decided to bring back leaders and activists who were earlier expelled on different grounds at different times.

"The final decision of withdrawing the expulsion orders will be taken by Tarique Rahman, the party's acting chairman," a senior leader said.

Since August 22, the BNP has been organising demonstrations across the country to protest the price hikes and later held rallies in Dhaka for the same cause along with the killing of its four leaders.

On July 31, a BNP man was killed in a clash between police and party activists in Bhola town when they were staging demonstrations against power outages and "mismanagement in the energy sector".

On August 3, Chhatra Dal leader Noore Alam died at a hospital in the capital from the injuries he suffered in the clash.

In Narayanganj, another BNP activist was killed in another clash with police on September 1 and in Munshiganj, a Jubo Dal leader was injured and later died in Dhaka Medical College Hospital on September 22.

The highest policymaking body of the party also decided to fix a day to mourn those who have been killed, BNP sources said.

The BNP also discussed taking legal action to challenge the government's move to prepare a list of the party leaders and activists, but could not yet decide how it should proceed.

While The Daily Star could not independently know why the list is being made by the government, BNP leaders allege "it is only to harass them".

The party is also planning to take legal action challenging the purchase of wheat from Russia at an "excessive price".

The BNP's agitation programmes before the 2014 national election faced a lot of flak from home and abroad due to their violent nature.

Before the 2018 parliamentary polls, the party failed to wage any strong movement.

This time, the party leaders said they will stage protests over pro-people issues.

It has decided to continue its ongoing movement till the next general election, scheduled for late December next year or early January in 2024.