Space For Rent

Space For Rent
Sunday, December 28, 2014, Poush 14, 1421, Robiul Awal 5, 1436 Hijr

BNP makes ?strategic? retreat, eyes Jan 3, 5
Published : Sunday, 28 December, 2014,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 23

Al Amin
Leaders of a 20-party alliance led by Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) defended their decision to call off a pre-scheduled rally at Gazipur yesterday as a "strategic retreat" not to step into the trap laid by ruling Awami League (AL).
The alliance stepped back from holding the rally at Bhawal Badre Alam Govt. College, which was supposed to be addressed by BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, after local administration imposed a  "Section 144" ban on gathering of more than five people.
Gazipur officials said the ban was imposed to avert possible clashes between alliance activists and Bangladesh Chharta League (BCL), student wing of AL, who announced plan to hold a rally at the same venue same time.
Alliance partners said they would rather concentrate on holding rallies in the capital on January 3 and January 5, the first anniversary of a parliamentary election that they boycotted and termed illegal.
Khaleda Zia is now expected to launch a massive movement soon to force the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina out and pave way for what she calls an inclusive early election supervised by a non-party caretaker authority. The next national poll is not due before 2019 and the government has rejected Khaleda's plea as undemocratic and unnecessary.
The alliance has formed Dhaka city-based all-party 'Songram committee' to enforce anti-government campaigns including a countrywide day-long hartal (strike) on Monday, BNP sources said.
Young and energetic activists of the alliance have been made members of the committee while BNP Standing Committee members Mirza Abbas and Tariqul Islam will co-ordinate them.
The Songram Committee members will be strongly active in the streets during hartal or other programmes as part of a 'do or die mission' to oust Sheikh Hasina, alliance leaders said.
BNP forced a dawn-to-dusk general strike in Gazipur on Saturday, drawing poor response from the public, in protest against imposition of Section 144 to obstruct their public rally there.
When asked why they had moved back from holding Saturday's rally or calling for a countrywide protest strike, Nazrul Islam Khan, a BNP Standing Committee member, told the Daily Observer, "We did not want to create any untoward situation before January 5.'
"Besides, the Chinese Foreign Minister would be visiting Dhaka on Saturday and meet Khaleda Zia. That is why they called the strike on Saturday only in Gazipur, not in Dhaka," he said.
Advocate Abdul Mobin, Chairman of Bangladesh Islami Party, told the Daily Observer, "Our alliance will not put feet into government's trap. It will go ahead according to its own plan to restore democracy in the country. You will see (that) on time."
Khaleda Zia ignored suggestion from alliance partners, especially Jamaat-e-Islami, key ally of the BNP, to go ahead with Gazipur rally. Instead, she announced usual programme to protest government's unethical move to obstruct the rally, a BNP leader said.
"We are really surprised that BNP did not announce any tough programme as it is high time to do that in order to materialise the demand for an inclusive election under a non-partisan administration," said an alliance leader requesting anonymity.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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