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11 March, 2018 00:00 00 AM

Shun movement, get ready for polls

AL asks BNP
Shun movement, get ready for polls

Ruling Awami League yesterday asked BNP to make preparations for the next general election instead of waging a movement to get party chief Khaleda Zia freed from jail while BNP accused the government of plotting to hold ‘another lopsided election’ to hang on to power. Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader and BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir made the remarks for their respective parties as the ruling party is concentrating more on the next polls likely to be held in December while the BNP spending time on the court and roads to get Khaleda released from jail on bail. Khaleda has been serving a 5-year imprisonment in a graft case since February 8.

“The BNP should get prepared for joining the next parliamentary elections, scheduled to be held at the year-end, instead of waging a movement demanding the release of Khaleda Zia from jail,” said Quader.

“This is my suggestion. The BNP should understand the reality that people will not join its movement,” he said while talking to journalists during a visit to the construction site for upgrading the Dhaka-Tangail highway to four lanes, at Chandra in Gazipur.

Quader, also the Road Transport and Bridges Minister, said the BNP could not wage any movement in the last nine years, and it will not be able to do so in future.

If the BNP stops vehicular movement on streets, it is the people who will suffer, he added.

The minister said the release of BNP chief Khaleda Zia depends on the court. The government will not interfere in the matter. Khaleda Zia will have to secure bail through a legal battle. The AL general secretary said the government has no intention to keep the BNP away from the next parliamentary polls.

The BNP, meanwhile, alleged that its Chairperson Khaleda Zia has been put in jail as part of an 'evil design' of the government to hold another lopsided election to hang on to power. "The government wants to hold another one-sided election as it did in 2014. That's why they sent Khaleda Zia to jail as part of their blueprint," Mirza Fakhrul said. Speaking at a rally in Khulna city, he further said, “The government won’t be able to implement its blueprint. We’ll surely restore people’s democratic and voting rights by freeing our leader (Khaleda) from jail.

Khulna district and city units BNP jointly arranged the rally in front of the party’s city office demanding Khaleda’s immediate release from jail. The party sought permission to hold the rally at Hadis Park, but police allowed it to stage it in front of the party office. The BNP has a plan to hold rallies in all divisional cities gradually to have their chairperson released from jail. It was the first divisional rally of the party.

The party is also scheduled to hold rallies at Dhaka’s Suhrawardy Udyan on March 12, Chittagong on March 31 and Rajshahi on March 31.

Fakhrul said they have been carrying out peaceful programmes since their chairperson was sent to jail on February 8 without responding to various provocations by the government and law enforcers. He said the law enforcers attacking their peaceful programmes and arresting their leaders and raiding their houses to spread panic.

Meanwhile, the BNP has made big preparations to hold a mega public meeting at Suhrawardy Udyan on March 12 even though it is yet to get permission from the police, said party sources. The agenda is to demand the release of party chairperson Khaleda Zia.

The party wants its leaders and activists from the nearby districts, like Nayaranganj, Gazipur, and Narsingdi, to join the rally and make it a success, sources said.

The party leaders are confident of getting the police permission to hold the rally. “We will send another party delegation to the DMP (Dhaka Metropolitan Police) today to get an update on the permission,” said BNP senior secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.

On Thursday, a three-member BNP delegation led by the party chairperson’s adviser Abdus Salam met DMP commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia about the permission, said BNP sources.

“The DMP commissioner told us that he has passed on the application to intelligence agencies. He assured us that the DMP will take the necessary measures if they get the clearance from the agencies,” said Abdus Salam.

He believes they will get the permission, but at the last moment. The two other members of the delegation were the chairperson’s adviser Ataur Rahman Dhali and assistant organising secretary Abdus Salam Azad.

The BNP has been carrying out peaceful demonstrations across the country ever since Khaleda was sentenced to a five-year jail term in a graft case on February 8. On the other hand, BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, who was hiding in the party headquarters to avoid arrest for 40 days, came out yesterday to lead a procession of some 13 to 14 party activists in front of the party office.


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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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