Amid criticisms by the ruling party that its movement has no people’s involvement, the BNP-led 20-party has worked out a new strategy to stage frequent showdowns across the country through holding rallies, processions and demonstrations alongside the ongoing hartal and blockade programmes, reports news agency.
The alliance leaders said it is now necessary to include new action programmes with hartal blockade to bring their leaders and activists on the streets in a bid to mount pressure on the government to concede to their demand for a fresh inclusive election.
They think the government as part of its plot to derail their movement is thinking of holding Dhaka City Corporations polls. “So we want to intensify the movement further with people’s participation ignoring the DCC polls issue,” a BNP leader told UNB preferring not to be named.
He said the 20-party also wants a positive outcome of their ongoing movement before the government goes for the DCC polls. The alliance has already declared to stage demonstrations across the country on Monday and they will hold such 2-3 programmes every weak to mobilise their activists on the streets.
The 20-party is also likely to announce countrywide demonstrations for Tuesday and Wednesday this week. A BNP leader close to BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia said she has already sent out a message to top leaders of her party its associate bodies and alliance partners to observe street programmes like demonstration and protest rallies on various issues every week to prove that their movement has people’s involvement and thus boost up the morale of the party’s grassroots leaders and activists.
The BNP leader said if the government tries to resist their street programmes and intensify its repression and arrest of opposition activists, it will help justify their allegation that government has shut all democratic spaces and snatched people’s all democratic rights.
“The country is now going through a serious democratic crisis. People want the government to create a congenial atmosphere for holding a fresh election through talks. But the government is now hatching a conspiracy to hold the DCC polls ignoring people’s hopes and aspirations,” BNP standing committee members Lt Gen (retd) Mahbubur Rahman told the news agency.
Mentioning that the DCC polls are nothing but a government trap, he said they will not fall into it. “We’ll rather deepen the movement further.” “We’re now thinking of bringing a dimension to our movement with newer action programmes alongside hartal and blockade so that our leaders and activists become more active and don’t get frustrated,” Mahbubur Rahman said.
BNP publicity affairs secretary Zainul Abedin Farroque said the government should have engaged in talks to resolve the political crisis amid their current movement for the sake of democracy, country and its people. “Now we’ve no option but to intensify our movement further. Our justified movement has the support of the country’s majority people as well as the international community seeking an inclusive election,” he said.
Asked why their party men are not seen on the streets during hartal and blockade programmes, he said the law enforcers fire shots and launch attacks whenever the opposition men try to stage a peaceful procession. “Despite that, the opposition activists are taking to the streets across the country. Our policymakers are also thinking of taking some new programmes so that party men’s presence on the streets is increased.”
A top leader of the alliance wishing anonymity said they will strengthen street picketing, mainly in Dhaka city, during the hartal and blockade from this weak. He said the alliance leaders and activists will also try to stage demonstrations and take out processions at different wards of the city every day on different issues and in support of the hartal and blockade.
Another BNP policymaker, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said they are also thinking to stage big showdowns at their strong holds outside the capital to shift the government’s focus from the capital to other divisions and districts.
He said they are also planning to hold public rallies at different districts alongside the hartal and blockade. “We know holding a rally is now a very difficult job as our leaders can’t move freely in their areas to organise such a programme while there is no respite in arrest and repressive acts. But some of our leaders are given responsibility to work on it.”