October 19, 2023
DHAKA – The Awami League yesterday threatened to go for a “counter-blockade” if the BNP chooses any programme of that sort.
It also vowed not to allow the opposition activists to take to the streets.
The government will conduct a free, fair, and peaceful election, AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader said, adding that the US announced visa restrictions on those who would obstruct a free and fair election.
“We will see what measures our friends [US] will take against those who will announce blockades,” he said, adding that those who announce blockades are anti-people.
Quader was addressing the party’s “peace and development rally” next to the south gate of Baitul Mukarram National Mosque in the capital.
The AL’s city units arranged the rally marking the 60th birth anniversary of Sheikh Russel, the youngest son of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
“Our message from this event is clear: Sheikh Hasina will not resign during the election. She will lead the election-time government,” Quader said.
“The caretaker government system is dead. It has been buried in the Azimpur graveyard. The system will never return.”
Quader said people are in real trouble due to the price hike of essentials, but the prices have increased globally.
“We are the victims here. Big powers are increasing the prices, which is why prices are being hiked locally. But today, the IMF director said that our economy is on the right track, inflation is reducing slowly and the future of Bangladesh is bright.”
He said AL President Sheikh Hasina is a “magical leader”.
“We need some patience. Now people are suffering due to some problems, but we have a leader who will find a way out of this.”
Leaders and activists from different units of Dhaka city joined the rally at which the two Dhaka mayors also spoke.
Mayor Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh said, “Different global powers and local reactionary forces are jointly conspiring to defeat the progressive power and to form a puppet government. It is not the time to hold rallies only. We need to turn our homes into fortresses … .”
AL praesidium member Abdur Rahman said the BNP is planning a blockade of Dhaka after Durga Puja with 10 lakh people. “If they announce such a programme, are you [AL leaders and activists] ready to come out of your homes with sticks instead of banners and festoons?”
Abu Ahmed Mannafi, president of Dhaka south city AL, presided over the programme. AL praesidium members Shahjahan Khan, Mofazzol Hossain Chowdhury Maya and Jahangir Kabir Nanak, AL Organising Secretary AFM Bahauddin Nasim, AL Joint Secretary Hasan Mahmud also spoke at the event.