Tuesday, 21 March, 2023

Why tussle over a rally venue?

Holding peaceful rallies and programmes is a constitutional right of all political parties. In a democracy, it is a norm by which the political parties can express their opinion and concern freely before the public. But ahead of the BNP’s just-concluded public rally in Dhaka on December 10, we have observed with dismay an unwanted tussle between the government and the major opposition party over the rally venue. However, much to the relief of people, it is over as BNP finally held its rally in the capital’s Golapbagh ground which the government permitted at last.

In our country, political parties are accustomed to holding rallies on busy streets disrupting public life and causing immense sufferings to commuters and pedestrians alike. Showing this very reason, the government did not allow BNP to hold its rally in front of its party office at Naya Paltan which it wanted as the venue. But, the same argument is conveniently forgotten when the ruling party leaders and activists occupy streets and hold rallies of their own there. It is indeed a case of double standard!

The same rule should be applicable to both the ruling party and the opposition ones. However, the unwanted tussle of venue regularly happens due to lack of designated spots for rallies. It is better to designate the venue outside the city for avoiding public sufferings. In that case, the Ijtema ground adjacent to the capital may be a viable option. The ground remains empty most of the time of the year other than the annual Biswa Ijtema that is usually held in the winter season. If not, Purbachal may be another option which may be taken into account for consideration. Anyway, the issue should be solved once for all by earmarking a particular spot for all political programmes. The city fathers can finalise it by taking a wise decision in this regard.