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24 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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next general election

Parties gear up activities

AL carrying out campaign as BNP and other political parties trying to forge greater unity
Abu Jakir
Parties gear up activities
Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader addresses a rally as part of nationwide electioneering at SR Square in Karnaphuli upazila of Chattogram yesterday. The motorcade carrying AL leader arrives at the port city (inset). Focus Bangla Photo

With only a few months left for the 11th parliamentary elections, political parties have geared up their activities, raising hopes for a participatory general election. The Awami League has started campaigning in full swing, while the BNP and other political parties are trying to forge greater unity to fight against the AL-led grand alliance. There is a big question mark on whether all political parties would participate in the polls. The BNP had boycotted the last parliamentary elections held on January 5, 2014. This had resulted in 153 AL lawmakers being elected unopposed.

Although BNP leaders have been saying that they will not participate in the polls without party chief Khaleda Zia, insiders say they are always ready to contest the coming polls.

The BNP has been caught in a dilemma whether it should make preparations for the polls, or forge a movement to get Khaleda Zia released. Some of the party leaders said the party might have taken a policy to launch a movement for Khaleda's release, which will eventually turn into an election campaign.

The BNP on Saturday extended all-out support to the efforts of Jatiya Oikya Prokriya (national unity process) in a bid to force the government to hold the general election in a free, fair and credible manner.

The Jatiya Oikya Prokriya, convened by Gono Forum president, Dr Kamal Hossain, organised a rally at the Mahanagar Natya Mancha, in the capital’s Gulistan area, yesterday.

BNP secretary general, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, its standing committee member, Moudud Ahmed, Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain and Dr Abdul Moin Khan joined the rally.

Speaking at the rally, Mirza Fakhrul said: “The process of forging national unity has taken a step forward and I hope we can go ahead together in future. Our party chief, Khaleda Zia, directed us to forge national unity ahead of the next polls at any cost, to oust the AL-led government.

There is no alternative to forging such unity to save the country and its people. The government will have to resign and Parliament will have to be dissolved for fair polls. Let’s build a greater national unity to realise the demand.”

On September 15, Prof AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury-led Juktafront and Dr Kamal Hossain-led Jatiya Oikya Prokriya formally announced forging of a “greater national unity” to ensure that people elect their representatives through a fair election.

An Awami League delegation, led by its general secretary, Obaidul Quader, started its campaign tour of the south-eastern districts by road on Saturday morning from the party’s Dhanmondi office. The party’s first electioneering tour was in the northern districts by train on September 7.

Talking to the media, the AL general secretary, Quader, said the aim of the train journey is to reach the message of development carried out by the AL government to the grassroots level people, and energise party leaders and workers ahead of the national polls. “The upcoming election will be a competitive one and we've to make preparations considering this. If there's any internal dispute, we've to

resolve it. This campaign is to revitalise the grassroots level leaders,” he added. Speaking at a roadside meeting in Comilla, the AL general secretary said people will cast their votes for "nouka" (boat), electoral symbol of the AL, in the polls and they will form the government again.

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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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