PM 'upset, but hopeful'
Published: 2013-10-26 20:17:51.0 BdST Updated: 2013-10-27 00:04:50.0 BdST
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is upset and concerned after the BNP rejected her dinner invitation to Opposition Leader Khaleda Zia and refused to withdraw the shutdown.
The BNP at a press briefing said it will not call off the general strike after Hasina called Khaleda on the phone and asked her to join her over a dinner to start a dialogue, which the BNP chief had asked for.
The Opposition said it would consider sitting in any talks with the ruling party after its 60-hour nationwide shutdown ends.
But the Prime Minister was still hopeful that the BNP chief will reconsider her call for talks and withdraw the shutdown starting from Sunday, said Hasina's Media Advisor Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury.
Khaleda at a rally in Dhaka on Friday had declared a three-day shutdown from Sunday if the government did not take initiatives to start talks by Saturday.
Hasina, the Awami League President, called her over phone on Saturday evening and asked her to join a dialogue over dinner on Monday at Ganabhaban, her official residence.
But the Opposition Leader declined and said any talks offer would be considered after the general strike which would end on Tuesday.
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