BNP announces union-level protest on 11 Feb
The opposition holds peaceful rallies amid counter programmes by ruling Awami League in Khulna, Sylhet and Chattogram
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) announced a union-level anti-government campaign on 11 February to press home its 10-point demand, including a poll-time non-partisan caretaker government.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir announced the programme at a rally in front of the Naya Paltan party office on Saturday, as the party held similar political gatherings in divisional headquarters -- which were largely peaceful except for factional clashes in port city Chattogram over taking position near the stage at Kazir Dewri area.
Though the rally in Dhaka's Naya Paltan area was supposed to begin at 2 pm, Dhaka divisional BNP and affiliated bodies carrying banners, the party and national flags started to gather in front of the BNP central office in the morning.
They crowded Fakirapool to Nightingale intersection even before the afternoon and chanted slogans demanding the release of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, release of arrested partymen, checking spiralling food and commodity prices and the immediate resignation of the current government.
"People are now staging demonstrations for only one demand – the end of the current government," Fakhrul told the agitating crowd.
Several anti-government political alliances also took to the streets in Dhaka on Saturday and announced that they will observe the 11 February protest.
Referring to low voter turnout in recent by-polls in six constituencies, Fakhrul said, "It was proven in the elections again how helpless and isolated the government is as it had to resort to voting frauds to win even against Hero Alam [an independent candidate in Bogura]."
"Regular gas cylinder prices have increased by a whopping Tk266 in just one go – forcing the people further to the wall. The government is ruining the country by taking foreign loans. It now has taken up Tk52,000 crore underground metro rail project for Dhaka, while many are struggling to manage three meals a day," said the BNP leader.
Fakhrul said the textbook errors and factual mistakes this year are intentional. "The contents do not go with our culture or our religion. This is a conspiracy to make the nation bow down to a neighbouring state."
Other BNP leaders claimed now 42% of the country's people are below the poverty line, the country's banks have collapsed and the forex reserves are at the bottom.
They said the government has been laundering money abroad in the name of quick rental electricity and power purchase from India's Adani Group.
The leaders commented that Awami League got only 5% votes in the by-elections, as the remaining 95% people of the country are in favour of the BNP.