AL, BNP to hold programmes in Sylhet on same day
Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) will hold a divisional rally in Sylhet on 4 February; Awami League will hold a peace march in the city on the same day
Awami League and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) have given opposite programmes in Sylhet on the same day. First, both parties announced the rally at the same place at the same time, but later Awami League changed the venue.
BNP will hold a divisional meeting in Sylhet on 4 February. BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir announced this programme on 25 January.
However, Sylhet district and the metropolitan Awami League announced on Wednesday (1 February) that the party will hold a peace rally in the city on 4 February. Sylhet District Awami League informed in a press conference on Wednesday night that the Awami League rally will be held at the BNP rally registry ground. Another notification on Thursday (2 February) informed that "because of the programme of another political party", Awami League's rally will be held at Shahid Minar instead of the registry ground.
BNP leaders say that the Awami League announced the programme on the same day to disrupt their rally and push the peaceful programme towards conflict. However, the leaders of the ruling party say that Awami League will hold a peaceful march not to obstruct anyone's programme, but to protest against the attempt to create anarchy across the country in the name of political demonstrations. They claimed that Awami League's peace march was supposed to start from the Sylhet registry ground, but the place was changed at the last moment to avoid conflict as there was a BNP rally at that place.
This divisional rally of BNP will start at 2pm on Saturday. On the other hand, Awami League's peace rally will start at 3pm on the premises of Shaheed Minar in Sylhet.
Sylhet BNP leaders said that it was announced to hold a divisional rally in Sylhet in January as part of the central programme to demand the implementation of the party's 10-point demand. Sylhet district BNP president Abdul Qayyum Chowdhury said, "We have completed all the preparations for the divisional assembly. Starting from leaders and workers, everyone is eager to join this gathering."
Regarding the Awami League rally call on the same day, he said "The government could not stop BNP by creating obstructions. Now they want to push our peaceful agenda into conflict. So they also called a rally on the same day. It is incompatible with political ethics and political harmony of Sylhet."
However, referring to the program on the same day as a coincidence, General Secretary of Sylhet Awami League Professor Zakir Hossain said, "This is not a counter programme. We will hold a peace rally as part of the central programme. We did not know about BNP's event. But as soon as we got to know, we changed the place of assembly. This peace rally will be held to protest BNP-Jamaat anarchy and arson."
Sylhet Metropolitan Police Additional Deputy Commissioner (Media) Sudeep Das said that the police will be alert to prevent any untoward incident due to the programmes of the two parties on the same day.