Country’s political arena is heating up gradually as both Awami League and its arch-rival Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) have chalked out countrywide programmes at the same time.
BNP has announced to hold political programmes in six metropolitan cities from February 13 while the ruling party is set to hold programmes across the country from February 15.BNP will also stage demonstrations across the country on Thursday in protest against the jailing of some of its leaders, including acting Chairman Tarique Rahman, Habibul Islam Habib and Salahuddin Ahmed, in separate cases.
BNP Standing Committee member Nazrul Islam Khan announced the programme at a press briefing at the party chairperson’s Gulshan office on Tuesday.
The opposition party alleged that AL has chalked out its programmes as counter ones while the ruling party dismissed such allegation, saying those were pre-scheduled.
AL insiders say they will hold countrywide rallies, discussions and mass contact from February 15, marking the International Mother Language Day, golden jubilee of the country’s independence and birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader said they would face BNP’s agitation programmes politically and prevent any kind of violence for the sake of the country and its people. “We don’t believe in announcing counter programmes; rather our programmes, including rallies, discussions and mass contact, are pre-scheduled ones marking the golden jubilee of independence and Mujib Barsho,” he said.
BNP’s agitation programmes are nothing but an intrigue of destroying the peaceful atmosphere of the country, he said.According to party insiders, BNP decided to hold rallies in six metropolitan cities from February 13 to press home their demand for free and fair elections.
The party will hold a rally in Chattogram on February 13 while in Barishal on February 18, in Khulna on February 27, in Rajshahi on March 1, and Dhaka North city on March 3 and in Dhaka South city on March 4 to press for the demand.
While announcing programmes on February 5, BNP Joint Secretary General Mujibur Rahman Sarwar said they should not be barred from going to the people and they want to hold their rallies in exercise of their democratic rights.
“No election will be fair under the incumbent government. In the rallies, we’ll convey this to the people. We demand that elections be held under a neutral government and people be given back their right to vote,” he had said.
Later on February 6, Quader asked leaders and workers of the ruling party and its associate and like-minded bodies to hold discussions, rallies, representatives’ meetings and mass-contact campaigns from February 15, marking the golden jubilee of independence, International Mother Language Day and Mujib Barsho.
Contacted, BNP leader Nazrul Islam said they announced their programmes first. “We’ve nothing to do if Awami League announced counter programmes. If they’re respectful to democracy, they won’t hold programmes on the day were scheduled to hold ours.”
He, however, said there are instances of holding political programmes simultaneously by different parties in democratic practice.
AL Presidium member Faruk Khan told the Daily Sun that they are not bothering about BNP’s programmes. “People have no confidence in BNP. They don’t find any value of their words. Neither its activists nor people will take to the street responding to its call,” he said.