Bangladesh Nationalist Party will hold prayer sessions across the country today as part of its programmes to celebrate the 73rd birthday of the party’s chairperson Khaleda Zia.
BNP’s senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi at a news briefing in the party’s central office in Dhaka on Tuesday said the prayer session would be held at BNP’s central office in Dhaka at 11:00am and at Khaleda’a Gulshan office in the evening today.
The party would seek divine help for ‘unconditional release’ of Khaleda Zia and her ‘early recovery from illnesses’ through the prayer session, said Rizvi.
Khaleda was jailed for five years in Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case on February 8.
The party would also hold prayer sessions in its branches across the country.
Rizvi also said BNP had planned to hold a rally in the Dhaka city on September 1 to mark its 40th founding anniversary.
The party would formally apply for permission to hold the rally either at Suhrawardy Udyan or in front of the party›s central office at Nayapaltan, he added.
The late president Ziaur Rahman established BNP on September 1 in 1978.
Rizvi complained that the government was trying to hold up the quota issue showing a court order on quotas for freedom fighters and their family members.
But, in fact, there was no verdict on the issue, it was an observation of the High Court, he added.
He said students and jobseekers demanded reform in quota system, not total abolish.
Rizvi demanded immediate release of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia, and the students, who were arrested for extending sympathy to the school and college students demonstrating for safe roads.
Khaleda Zia was born at Jalpaiguri in undivided British India on August 15, 1946, according to BNP leaders and its website.
Khaleda and her party’s leaders and activists formally celebrate her birthday on August 15 by cutting birthday cakes amid sharp criticism from AwamI League as its leader and the country’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was assassinated on August 15 in 1975.
Khaleda leads the party after the assassination of the party’s president Ziaur Rahman, who was also president of the country and her husband, in May 1981.
She was elected vice-chairman in 1983 and chairperson in 1984 of the party, according to BNP website.
Khaleda became first female prime minister of Bangladesh in 1991.
She was also prime minister following ‘controversial general election’ in February 1996 and after BNP won the general election in 2001.
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