Thousands gather BNP rally in Rajshahi04 December 2022
Thousands of BNP supporter attend the party\'s ninth divisional rally in Rajshahi on Saturday. NN photo
Staff Reporter :
Tens of thousands of BNP leaders and workers defying all kinds of hurdles including transport strike, police harassment and disruption of internet service peacefully concluded the ninth divisional rally in Rajshahi city on Saturday.
With renewed spirit, BNP said that they would continue their programmes till the dissolution of the parliament, resignation of the government and holding of election under a caretaker government.
The rally was reverberated with slogans 'take back Bangladesh' when the central and local leaders addressed the huge crowds at the city's Haji Mohammad Mohsin High School Ground.
But local people in Rajshahi along with BNP leaders and workers who hailed from eight districts of Rajshahi division to the venue experienced endless sufferings due to the transport strikes which obstructed their free movement. However, the indefinite strike was withdrawn after the rally was concluded. Due to the indefinite strike, the BNP leaders and workers gathered in Rajshahi city at least three days before the rally braving various obstacles including police checking.
But when they approached the venue for staying, they were utterly dismayed as police put an embargo on the entrance before the day of the rally which was mentioned in 14-point conditions slapped by the administration.
However, the leaders and workers stayed on a nearby ground under makeshift camps for at least three days before the rally. On Saturday morning they began to enter the venue with small processions and chanted slogans.
The rally began at around 9:30am with the National Anthem though it was scheduled to start at 2pm and conclude at 5pm as per the conditions. The entire area was under the surveillance of CCTV cameras and cordoned off by the law enforcers by setting check-posts at entry points of the city.
BNP leaders and activists with banners, placards, paddy sheaf and the photos of former Prime Minister and BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia and her son, the party's acting chairperson, Tarique Rahman joined the rally from Bogura, Joypurhat, Sirajganj, Natore, Pabna, Naogaon, and Chapainawabganj.
As a symbolic gesture, the rally organisers kept two chairs empty on the stage for Khaleda Zia , and Tarique Rahman.
Addressing the massive rally BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir reiterated that BNP would only participate in the parliamentary poll under a caretaker government.
"No election will be allowed to be held without a caretaker government. For attaining it, a movement is needed. This movement will not be meant for prime ministership or ministership. It will be a movement to establish people's rights and voting rights," he added.
Fakhrul alleged that the government is having nightmares of losing power since it has no confidence in the country's people.
"We want to hold a rally at Nayapaltan peacefully on December 10. But they (AL) have lost sleep in fear of losing their power. They themselves are saying that their thrones will be overturned," he said.
The BNP leader also said that BNP had many rallies at Nayapaltan, even in presence of party chairperson Khaleda Zia, earlier without any chaos.
"You (AL) know you've committed many misdeeds. You have no confidence in people. So, you are also sacred and having nightmares that Khaleda Zia and Tarique Rahman are coming (to power)," he observed.
Criticising the government for filing fictitious cases, Fakhrul said, "They themselves are committing various incidents and file false cases against BNP workers."
About the national government, he said, "The Sheikh Hasina government has to resign this time. Power has to be handed over to a caretaker government after dissolution of the parliament. The neutral government will form a new Election Commission which will arrange elections."
"All parties then will participate in the election and a parliament will be formed. Then a national government will be formed with all parties which took part in the movement. The national government will introduce a new dream, a new hope and a new horizon to enliven the economy and the politics," he explained.
BNP Chairperson's Adviser and former MP Mizanur Rahman Minu said, "The rally with the presence of lakhs of people is important now. The turbulent waves of the rally will reach Dhaka."
"Today there is scarcity of rice, oil and powdered milk for babies. A change is necessary," he added.
Meanwhile, locals in Rajshahi reported that they had been facing difficulties in using mobile internet services since Saturday morning ahead of the rally.
Even journalists, who were covering the event, also claimed to have faced slow internet services since morning.
Earlier, BNP activists alleged harassment by police and Awami League activists at different points on their way to Rajshahi.
BNP workers Insaan Ali Molla and Abu Bakar Siddique from Puthia alleged that they faced obstruction by the police and Awami League men on their way to the venue.
BNP activist Rabiul Islam said that he along with hundreds of others reached Rajshahi on some 20 battery-run easy-bikes due to transport strike.
Earlier BNP held rallies at the divisional level in Chattogram, Mymensingh, Khulna, Rangpur, Barishal and Faridpur, Sylhet and Cumilla.
BNP will conclude its divisional congregations by holding the final rally in the capital on December 10.
Though police have given the permission to hold the rally at Suhrawardy Uddyan, the BNP said they would hold the rally before the party headquarters at Naya Paltan.
BNP has been holding rallies to denounce the price hike of daily essentials and fuels, the death of five party men in previous police action in Bhola, Narayanganj, Munshiganj, and Jashore, and to ensure the freedom of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.