Thousands of leaders and activists of Bangladesh Nationalist Party on Saturday gathered at Nayapaltan in Dhaka to attend a rally marking the party's 40th founding anniversary.
Leaders and activists of BNP and its front and associate organisations from different parts of Dhaka city and adjacent districts started to surging in front of BNP central office at Nayapaltan from around noon.
The road stretch between Kakrail and Fakirerpul filled up within 2:00pm.
The leaders and activists came to the venue with procession wearing caps of different colours, holding banners, festoons, placards and band parties.
They chanted slogans naming late president Ziaur Rahman,founder of BNP, the party's jailed chairperson Khaleda Zia and anti-government slogans.
The movement of vehicles on road in front of BNP headquarters stopped around 1 pm.
The public meeting started at 2:00pm presided over by BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
Ziaur Rahman founded BNP on September 1 in 1978.
United News of Bangladesh adds: Bangladesh Nationalist Party on Saturday took a fresh vow to continue its movement for 'ousting' the current government to 'restore' democracy and people's rights.
‘We're taking a pledge on this day of our founding anniversary to continue our struggle to remove the monstrous government, and free our leader Khaleda Zia for the restoration of democracy,’ said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
The BNP leader also hoped that their party's efforts to end 'misrule' will turn out to be successful very soon.
Fakhrul came up with the remarks while talking to reporters after placing wreaths at BNP founder Ziaur Rahman's grave along with party's leaders and activists, marking its 40th founding anniversary.
He alleged that the government has snatched people's basic rights and destroyed all the democratic institutions. ‘It's now the main challenge for BNP to restore democracy and people's rights.’
Several hundred BNP leaders and activists together with Fakhrul, party standing committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Moudud Ahmed, Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan and Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury gathered at Zia's grave at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar around 10am and paid homage to their party founder by placing wreaths.
They also offered a munajat seeking eternal peace for Zia's departed soul.
Meanwhile, the party and its associate bodies are celebrating its 40th founding anniversary with various programmes.
On September 1, 1978, late President Ziaur Rahman founded the party with a 19-point programme to build a self-reliant Bangladesh.
The party will hold a public rally in front of its Nayapaltan central office at 2pm.
Party senior leaders said they have a plan for a 'massive showdown' in the rally to invigorate its rank and file ahead of the next general election.
Earlier in the morning, the party flag was hoisted atop BNP's Nayapaltan central office and all other offices across the country, marking the day.
Besides, the party's associate bodies and its all units across the country are marking the day holding various programmes, including discussion meetings.
The party will also arrange a discussion at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh on Sunday.
The party is celebrating the founding anniversary this year sans its chairperson Khaleda Zia as she has been in jail since February 8 after a lower court convicted her in a graft case.
After the assassination of Zia on May 30, 1981 in Chittagong, his widow Khaleda Zia took over the party leadership.
In its 38 years' journey, BNP had been in power for four times and was in the opposition bench twice. But following the January-5, 2014 election boycott, the party is now out of parliament.
BNP has been out of power for over 11 years since the 1/11 political changeover.
BNP senior leaders think they are passing through the toughest time since the party's foundation as it is out of power for a decade, but they hope it will turnaround very soon braving all the odds and obstacles.
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