BNP’s silent marches end in run-up to divisional rallies
BNP and its affiliates have demonstrated their political might by holding a four-day anti-government campaign in Dhaka ahead of the 4 February divisional rallies.
On the last day of the campaign, which the party called "silent march", BNP leaders and activists marched to the capital's Malibagh from Mugda on Wednesday to press home their 10-point demand, including holding the next general election under a non-party caretaker government.
Similar to the previous programmes, Wednesday's protest was largely peaceful amid by-polls in six constituencies of three divisions of the country.
BNP Standing Committee Member Mirza Abbas said, "By-elections are being held today in various places including Brahmanbaria. But there have been no voters at the polling centres since morning."
"I heard the news that cops are urging people to cast their ballots. I have never heard such a weird thing in my life," he commented. Subsequently, BNP activists started chanting anti-government slogans like "fake" and "fraud".
On 28 January, a large number of BNP leaders and activists participated in the first day's march from Badda to Malibagh.
The party subsequently conducted their anti-government programmes from and to three locations in the capital – Badda to Malibagh, Shyampur to Jatrabari, and Gabtoli to Mirpur-10.
In those protests, BNP managed to gather big crowds compared to the party's programmes in previous years.
Pedestrians, residents of nearby houses and roadside shopkeepers were seen showing their enthusiasm for the marches. Some clapped their hands in support of the protests, while many were found taking photos and doing Facebook live.
However, commuters had to bear the brunt as the protests hindered the regular traffic flow, forcing many to walk to their destinations.
Mirza Abbas on Wednesday commented that the base of government has been "shaken" due to the BNP campaign. "If we shout, Awami League gets frightened. Even if we remain silent, Awami League gets scared."
Syed Emran Saleh Prince, acting office secretary of BNP, said they are preparing BNP's Dhaka units to finalise a Dhaka-centric movement. BNP's Dhaka campaign has energised leaders and activists all over the country.