Barring Dhaka, BNP to hold nationwide protest marches against 2014 elections
Chittagong Bureau, bdnews24.com
Published: 2017-01-05 01:15:27.0 BdST Updated: 2017-01-05 03:51:30.0 BdST
The BNP has decided to hold black flag rallies throughout Bangladesh, except the capital Dhaka, on Thursday to protest on the third anniversary of the 10th parliamentary elections, which they term the 'death of democracy day'.
The Awami League rode to power for a second straight term in the face of a boycott of the 2014 general elections by the BNP, and formed the government in the tenth Parliament constituted on Jan 5 that year.
Since that day, the BNP has been decrying the day through protest programmes every year.
On the first anniversary of the 10th parliament in 2015, the BNP faced resistance to its protest programmes and called for the toppling of the government.
When that call failed, the BNP organised a public gathering at Naya Paltan in Dhaka to mark the day in 2016.
This year, amidst announcement from the Awami League leaders to foil any such programme, the BNP has decided to hit the streets through nationwide black flag marches.
Dhaka, however, has been kept out of the ambit of their programme.
Addressing a press conference at the Naya Paltan office of the BNP, Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi on Wednesday said, "Tomorrow, the black flag marches will be a success across the country except Dhaka, ignoring all government threats."
"On the occasion of the death of democracy day, we will hold a public meeting at Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital," he said adding that the preparations for it were on.
He said letters seeking permission for the use of the venue have been sent to authorities.
He expressed hope that the government would permit them to hold the mass gathering on Jan 7.
Asked why Dhaka was kept out of Thursday's programme, he said party chief Khaleda Zia is supposed to present herself at court on that day and that her supporters wish to show their solidarity with her.
Last year, the Awami League celebrated the day as "the victory of democracy day" near its Bangabandhu Avenue office, even as Khaleda addressed a gathering at their central office, protesting the day.
Awami League Joint General Secretary Mahbub-Ul-Alam Hanif recently cautioned the BNP and said that the people would not take it lying down if the BNP would observe the day as the 'death of democracy day'.
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