Country’s main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its allies are planning to cash in on the contemporary issues such as low paddy prices, non-payment of jute workers’ dues, violence against women, mismanagement in the financial sector and crisis in the stock market for waging a movement after Eid.
In this regard, the BNP and its wings and allies are holding programmes every day on different issues such as fair price of paddy and payment of unpaid wages of the jute workers for involving farmers, workers and the masses in the proposed movement.
They are also holding ifter parties at regular intervals to discuss different issues and to set strategies for their upcoming movement, primarily demanding release of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia.
Several senior BNP leaders, Liberal Democratic Party chief Oli Ahmed, Gono Forum executive president Subrata Chowdhury and several other leaders of Islamic parties, including Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, told New Age that in several meetings in the past one month they had discussed how to strengthen the organising capacities of the respective parties for involving the masses in the planned movement across the country.
‘The committees of all the units and wings have meanwhile been reformed. We are holding programmes every day in Ramadan through different wings for stimulating the workers and are getting good responses from them,’ BNP senior joint secretary-general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi told New Age on Tuesday.
‘The senior leaders are also maintaining simultaneous communications with the partners in the 20-party alliance and the Jatiya Oikya Front,’ he said.
Leaders of the BNP, LDP and Jamaat who participated in an ifter party on May 14 at a hotel in the capital told New Age that they stressed on undertaking mass contact programmes and holding human chains across the country on contemporary issues such as violence against women, fair price of paddy, unrest in the jute mills for unpaid wage and stagnancy in the economy.
BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan has said that instructions have been passed on to all alliance members to strengthen their capacities and hold regular programmes on issues of public interest.
‘The country is going through an economic turmoil and various other social problems like discrimination and violence against women. We have to capitalise on the situation for generating a mass movement against the government under the leadership of a bold, honest and competent leader,’ said LDP chief Oli Ahmed who took part in the iftar party.
After the iftar, the BNP, its farmers front Jatiyatabadi Krishak Dal and volunteers wing Jatiyatabadi Shechchhasebak Dal undertook several programmes including submission of memorandums to the deputy commissioners of over 50 districts simultaneously on Tuesday demanding fair prices of paddy and payment of the unpaid wages to the agitating public sector jute mills workers.
The Krishak Dal has taken up a six-day human chain programme at union, upazila and zila levels across the country from May 21 to May 26 for fair prices of paddy, ensuring purchasing of rice directly from the farmers and reduction in the price of seeds, fertilisers and other materials of agricultural production, Krishak Dal convenor Shamsuzzaman Dudu said.
Jamaat secretary-general Shafiqur Rahman said that their mass-contact activities on issues of public interest were going on in full swing.
‘But, we are not yet informed of any movement,’ Shafiqur said.
He also said that the 20-party alliance should have an assessment on the last national election and on the overall situation of the past five months before going for any movement.
Gono Forum executive president Subrata Chowdhury said that they had also organised human chain programmes demanding fair price of paddy and were negotiating with the BNP and other political parties for expansion of the Jatiya Oikya Front for the sake of holding a movement after Eid.
‘Except for Jamaat, we will approach all the parties to join the movement under the JOF,’ Subrata said.
Nagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna attending a rally of the pro-BNP professionals body named Bangladesh Sammilita Peshajibi Parishad on Tuesday called for holding a massive movement against the ruling party to set free the people as well as BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia.
‘The release of Khaleda Zia is akin to freedom of the people from the clutches of the repressive government,’ Manna said.
BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan said that they would sit with the alliance partners soon to work out strategies and issues of the movement after Eid.