The 27th anniversary of fall of autocratic military ruler HM Ershad and restoration of democracy was largely ignored by the major political parties on Wednesday.
The ruling Awami League and the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party took no event marking the day, although both the parties fought for restoration of democracy during the anti-autocratic movements in 1980s.
On December 6, 1990, military dictator Ershad stepped down in the face of a mass upsurge and handed power over to an interim government ending his nine years of autocratic rule which began through grabbing power in a coup on March 24, 1982.
Ersahd-led Jatiya party is now a part of the ruling alliance and the party chairman Ershad is now a special envoy of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina with the status of a minister.
BNP has made an alliance with Jatiya Party offshoots. On several occasions before 2001, BNP came into a close relation with Jatiya Party.
Awami League and BNP shared the power of the country since 1991 barring the periods of caretaker and interim governments.
Awami League presidium member Muhammad Faruk Khan said that his party did not chalk out any event as their national executive committee had not taken any decision in that regard.
When asked about the reasons behind BNP’s stance, its secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said, ‘The fall of autocracy in Bangladesh is yet to take place.’
Fakhrul at a news briefing on Wednesday at the party’s central office said that autocracy was rather now getting a new life.
The secretary general, however, addressed a discussion, marking the fall of autocrat Ershad, organised by the Dhaka University Central Student Union of 1990 and the then All Party Student Unity at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity on the day.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in a message marking the day on Tuesday said that the ruling Awami League was playing a responsible role in protecting democratic and voting rights of people while opposition BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia alleged that the incumbent government was destroying democratic institutions of the country.
On the eve of December 6, Khaleda and Hasina, two prominent leaders of the movement to end Ershad’s autocratic rule, said that December 6 is a remarkable day for the country.
They also recalled the people’s sacrifice in the movement against Ershad in 1980s.
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