BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam has said Awami League will not be allowed to play any more games in the name of the election.
“You went to power by playing games in the name of elections last two times, by deceiving people and telling them lies… This time there will be no election unless a caretaker government is installed in the country,” he said at a portion of BNP’s divisional rally in Faridpur on Saturday
Faridpur district unit BNP organised the programme at Komorpur Abdul Aziz Institution’s premises, around 6km away from Faridpur district town.
Thousands of leaders and followers of the BNP and its associate bodies from five districts—Faridpur, Rajbari, Shariatpur, Madaripur and Gopalganj— participated in the rally in Faridpur, known as a stronghold of ruling Awami League, overcoming various obstacles and a 38-hour bus strike that began on Friday morning.
The rally venue was nearly filled with BNP leaders and activists on Friday night as they gathered there from the adjacent districts fearing obstacles by the ruling party men and police and hassles caused by the bus strike.
Though bus communication remained halted between Faridpur and the rest of the country since Friday morning, the BNP leaders and activists came to the district town from different areas by train, launches, boats, trucks and small vehicles like human hauliers, auto rickshaws, three-wheelers, motorbikes, and micro-buses.
Meanwhile, the authorities reportedly shut the internet services by mobile phone operators since 10am centring the opposition’s programme.
An adequate number of police and other security officials were deployed around the rally venue and at different points of the town to prevent any untoward incident.
BNP leaders alleged that their activists were obstructed at different entry points and police check posts and C&B Ghat by law enforcers from joining the rally. Activists were seen coming to the rally venue in small processions chanting various anti-government slogans since early morning, braving all hurdles.
As the vehicles and auto-rickshaws were not allowed to go towards Komorpur Abdul Aziz Institution from the town, many BNP leaders and workers were forced to walk around 6km on foot to take part in the rally.
The organisers said the rally was meant to denounce the price hike of daily essentials and fuels, the death of five party men in previous police action in Bhola, Narayanganj, Munshiganj and Jashore, and to ensure the freedom of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.
The BNP has long been demanding that the next general election be held under a caretaker government, not under any political government–a demand sharply rejected by the ruling Awami League as the constitution does not allow it to happen.
The BNP activists in the five districts under the party’s Faridpur organisational division have started flocking to the rally venue since Wednesday and many of them stayed there as the district bus owners association enforced the strike from Friday morning allegedly to control the wave of opposition activists.
The rally in Faridpur is the 6th one by the BNP at the divisional level as five others were held in Chattogram, Mymensingh, Khulna, Rangpur and Barishal.
A similar strike was also enforced ahead of BNP’s divisional rallies in Barishal, Rangpur and Khulna, but thousands of party leaders, activists and supporters participated in the rallies overcoming the obstacles.
As part of the move to continue the pace of its ongoing movement, the BNP on September 27 announced a series of public rallies in 10 divisional cities.
The BNP will conclude the divisional rallies through a mass gathering in Dhaka city on December 10.
Developer Design Host BD