POST TIME: 4 January, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 4 January, 2018 01:21:43 AM
Jan 5 polls anniversary
AL, BNP suit up for show of strength tomorrow

AL, BNP suit up for show of strength tomorrow

Both the Awami League and the BNP are preparing to organise major show of strength in the city and elsewhere in the country on Friday—the fourth anniversary of the January 5 election.

In Dhaka, the AL will hold two massive rallies, one in front of the Bangabandhu Square and another at the Rajuk ground at Banani, said party leaders.

The BNP is yet to get permission to hold its planned rally at Suhrawardy Udyan in the city, but is making preparations to hold a rally in front of the party’s central office at Naya Paltan on Friday, according to party insiders. The BNP is waiting for police permission to hold its rally in the city, said party leaders.

The AL observes the day as “Victory Day for Democracy”. It would hold discussions and bring out cheer rallies.  

The BNP observes it as ‘Murder of Democracy Day”. Apart from other programmes, it will bring out black flag processions across the country. The two parties want to show their strength and popularity by organising massive rallies as the 11th parliamentary elections are likely to be held later this year.

AL joint general secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif said they would observe the day by holding meetings and cheer rallies across the country. As part of the programme, the Dhaka south and north AL units would separately organise two rallies in the city.

AL north general secretary Sadek Khan said they would hold the rally at the Rajuk ground beside Kamal Ataturk Avenue in Banani. Party general secretary Obaidul Quader is likely to attend the rally as chief guest.

He expressed hope that along with ordinary people, thousands of party leaders and activists would join the rally.

A BNP standing committee member said they sought permission from both the public works department (PWD) and police to hold the party rally at  Suhrawardy Udyan on January 5, but are yet to get permission.

Replying to a question, the party leader said they came to know that a small organisation had been given permission to use Suhrawardy Udyan on tate day. In that case, the BNP was likely to hold its rally in front of the party office with permission, he added.

Kazi Abul Bashar, general secretary of the Dhaka south unit of the party, also said that they were yet to get permission to use Suhrawardy Udyan as the venue.

He also said the party would make its position clear about its next course of action if they were denied permission.

About preparation for the January 5 rally, he said they were able to hold a massive rally in the city in 12 hours’ time.

When asked, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) spokesman Masudur Rahman said they would take a decision today about the BNP’s application for holding its January 5 rally in the city.

The AL had come to power for the second consecutive time after the 10th parliamentary election, held on January 5, 2014. A total of 154 lawmakers had been elected unopposed as most of the political parties, including the BNP, did not take part in it.

The BNP-led 20-Party Alliance had launched unsuccessful movements before and after the polls to press for its demand to hold the elections under a non-partisan government and cancel the poll results. However, violence during the movements had left over 100 people dead and hundreds injured, prompting the government to go for a strong crackdown to control the situation.

With the next parliamentary polls likely to be held later this year, the BNP and like-minded parties have again started demanding that the elections be held under a non-partisan administration.