The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) will celebrate its 35th founding anniversary on Sunday through various programmes.
On September 1, 1978, late President Ziaur Rahman founded the party with a 19-point programme to build a self-reliant Bangladesh.
After the assassination of Zia on May 30, 1981 in Chittagong, his widow Khaleda Zia took lead of the party.
Meanwhile, the party and its associated bodies have taken elaborate programmes to mark the founding anniversary.
As part of the programmes, the party arranged a discussion at the Institution of Engineers on Saturday.
Earlier, on August 21, BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir at a press briefing at the party’s Nayapaltan central office announced a two-day programme, including the discussion, to mark the founding anniversary.
Besides, the party and national flags will be hoisted atop all the offices of BNP across the country in the early morning on Sunday. BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia along with the party leaders and activists will place wreaths and offer fateha at the mazar of its founder late president Ziaur Rahman at 10am on the day.
Former President Zia through founding BNP added a new dimension to the country’s politics with the introduction of the ideology of ‘Bangladeshi Nationalism’ with the slogans of ‘politics of development and production’.
BNP has ruled the country for several terms while the party Chairperson Khaleda Zia became the country’s first woman prime minister after winning the 1991 general election.
Khaleda, now leader of the opposition in parliament, became the country’s premier in 1996 (for a short time) and 2001.
The BNP restored the parliamentary system through the 12th amendment to the Constitution in 1991 and introduced the caretaker government system through the 13th amendment to the Constitution in 1996 paving the way for holding polls under non-party caretaker government which was annulled by the current regime.
BNP has been on the movement since the government scrapped the system demanding its restoration.
Meanwhile, party acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has asked the party leaders and activists at all levels to observe the anniversary in a befitting manner.
BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia and the acting secretary general congratulated the countrymen, party leaders, workers and activists and well-wishers on the occasion of the founding anniversary.
In her message, Khaleda said, “Today, the country’s independence and sovereignty are at stake. The government has been ignoring the national interest through various activities and signing anti-state agreements.”
“Under this suffocating situation, we can’t sit idle. BNP is continuing movement together with people to realise their rights, assuage their sorrows and pains and protect the country’s independence and sovereignty. Our main aim is to restore the caretaker government system in the constitution which the government cancelled by force,” she added.
The BNP chief urged all, including the party leaders and activists, to take all-out preparation for a strong movement.