BNP plans road march to Dhaka, blockades

The party would also have some programmes demanding release of Bangladesh Nationalist Party Chairperson Khaleda Zia and the government allow her to go abroad.

Mohammad Al-Masum Molla

Mohammad Al-Masum Molla

The Daily Star


File photo of Bangladesh Nationalist Party. PHOTO: THE DAILY STAR

October 4, 2023

DHAKA – The BNP is planning programmes, including road march to Dhaka, encircling of important buildings and even blockades, to press home its demand for election under a non-partisan interim administration.

Party leaders said that if needed, the party would go for “hartal-like” programmes in the final phase of the movement, which would have a pause between October 20 and October 25 for Durga Puja.

Sources said until October 20, the BNP would hold programmes like rallies, processions, and meetings and after October 25, tougher programmes would be launched.

The party would also have some programmes demanding release of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and the government allow her to go abroad.

“Soon after the announcement of the implementation of the new US visa policy, the ruling party men are in discomfort. There may be some changes in the current political situation in the coming days. Considering all these, we are drawing up our programmes,” said a BNP standing committee member wishing not to be named.

The committee is the highest policymaking body of the party.

The ongoing agitation programmes of the BNP will end with the road march from Cumilla to Chattogram tomorrow. Further programmes might be announced from a rally at the end of the march.

A senior BNP leader, however, said the agitation programme schedule could have a lot of changes depending on what the prime minister does after returning home from abroad, the announcement of the election schedule, and the BNP chief’s health.

Party leaders discussed the strategy for their movement and Khaleda’s health during a standing committee meeting on Monday night at the chairperson’s Gulshan office. Before the meeting, party leaders talked to like-minded political parties about the movement.

Sources said the BNP has preliminarily decided to hold a rally in Dhaka on October 18 from which it may issue an ultimatum for the government to resign.

“If the government does not step down, tougher programmes will be announced after Durga Puja,” said a standing committee member.

He said the march to Dhaka may start at the end of the month.

People of Dhaka and its adjacent districts would gather in the city every day to observe blockade-like programmes, the member said.

“The movement strategy is almost final. We will make an announcement soon. We will oust the government through a mass upsurge,” said Iqbal Hasan Mahmud Tuku, standing committee member of the party.

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