Dec 10 Dhaka rally: Govt nod for Suhrawardy Udyan a ploy
While the government insists the BNP would be given permission to hold its December 10 rally at no other place but the capital's Suhrawardy Udyan, BNP leaders think it's a ploy to prevent their activists from joining the rally.
They pointed out that Suhrawardy Udyan lies within the Dhaka University campus, where Chhatra League men are always present.
The BNP leaders believe BCL men will obstruct their party workers in many ways from joining the rally.
They, however, said they are determined to hold the rally in front of the party's Nayapaltan headquarters even if they do not get the permission.
"In the last one month, we have held at least 50 rallies there [Nayapaltan]. If those did not cause any problems, then why is it not possible [for them] to allow us to hold our rally there on December 10?" Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, a BNP standing committee member, told The Daily Star yesterday.
Raising questions over the government's proposal to hold the programme, the last of BNPs divisional rallies, at Suhrawardy Udyan, he said the BCL has programmes planned in the area on December 8 and 9, and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is to attend the one on the 8th.
"The place will be occupied by Chhatra League till the day before the December 10 rally … We will need at least a day or two to prepare for the rally. If they [BCL men] end their programme on December 9, how will we prepare for ours? Our activists coming to the city the day before ... Where will they stay?"
He added, "We are adamant about holding the rally peacefully at Nayapaltan, in compliance with the constitution."
His reaction came hours after Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said no official permission has been given to the BNP yet to hold its rally at Nayapaltan.
"As big rallies cannot be held anywhere else except the Suhrawardy Udyan, the government decided to give BNP the permission for that venue," he told reporters yesterday.
The home boss said the BNP itself requested for Suhrawardy Udyan, along with two other venues, and the Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner also found it (the Udyan) to be suitable.
"There are some Awami League programmes scheduled to be held there. And after the programmes, the BNP will be able to hold its rally," said Asaduzzaman.
Asked about the BNP's remark that the government will "be forced" to allow its rally in Nayapaltan, he said the government has no obligation.
"The government will give permission only for where it is suitable," he added.
Earlier, Senior BNP leader Gayeshwar Chandra Roy had said they will hold the rally at Nayapaltan even if the government doesn't give the permission.
"The rally on 10 December will be held at the venue we have announced. We won't wait for the permission as we'll arrange the rally whether we're given the permission or not," he said.
In a recent press conference, the BNP said the rally is not a movement to unseat the government.
To keep the momentum of its ongoing movement, the BNP on 27 September announced a series of public rallies in 10 divisional cities.
The party has already held eight rallies in Chattogram, Mymensingh, Khulna, Rangpur, Barishal, Faridpur, Sylhet and Cumilla.
It will conclude its movement with its December 10 rally in Dhaka city.