BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia on Monday announced a countrywide series of demonstrations from June 17 and threatened to enforce hartal or blockade programme if their demands, particularly the restoration of the non-party government system, are not met, reports (UNB/The News Today )
Addressing a mammoth rally in front of BNP’s Nayapaltan central office in the afternoon, Khaleda Zia announced demonstrations and protest processions at district, division and upazila levels across the country on June 17, June 24, July 1, July 8 and July 15.
The agitation programmes are also meant for other issues and demands like the release of the arrested top leaders of the opposition and return of the missing opposition leaders and workers, including M Ilias Ali, and protesting corruption, worsening law and order situation and the soaring prices of agri-inputs.
The BNP-led 18 party alliance organised the mass rally after its June-10 ultimatum to the government for the restoration of the caretaker government system went unheeded.
During her about 50-minute address from 6pm, Khaleda focused on various failures of the government, its misrule, corruption, repression on opposition leaders and activists and the future plans if her party and alliance are voted to power.
The former premier said they did not take any tough programme this time considering people’s interest ahead of Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr, but warned that if their demands, particularly the restoration of caretaker government, are not met, they will be compelled to enforce programmes like hartal and blockade after the Eid.
She, however, said they will be forced to throw a tough programme even ahead of Ramadan, if necessary.
The BNP chairperson asked the government to amend the Constitution to incorporate the provision of non-party neutral caretaker government into it.
“It’s their (govt) responsibility as they have changed the Constitution,” she said.
Khaleda urged the government to do whatever necessary for installing a non-party neutral government to hold the next general election under it. Otherwise, she warned, they will intensify their current movement to realise the demand.
Responding to the ruling party leaders’ various remarks, the BNP chief said, “Khaleda Zia or BNP never came to power through the back door… it has come to power with people’s mandate.”
She alleged that they (AL) had welcomed those who had come to power through the back door.
Khaleda came down heavily on the government for its “widespread corruption”, saying, “All, even the Prime Minister, are involved in corruption.”
The 18-party alliance chief reiterated that next general election will not be allowed to be held under the party in power as it will definitely be held under a non-party neutral administration.
She asked the Prime Minister to test her and her party’s popularity through creating a level-playing field and BNP will also participate in it. “It’ll manifest with whom actually people are,” she said adding that this government is out to destroy democracy.
Chaired by Dhaka city BNP member-secretary, Abdus Salam the mass rally was addressed, among others, by Jamaat-e-Islami acting Ameer Mokbul Ahmed, LDP president Oli Ahmed, BJP chairman Andalib Rahman Partho, Khelafat Majlish Ameer Moulana M Ishaq, IOJ secretary general Abdul Latif Nezami and Bikalpadhara Bangladesh joint secretary general Mahi B Chowdhury.