BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia finally swung the pitch of her movement
towards popular concerns on Wednesday when she threatened more strikes
if the price of power, gas and fuel were hiked.
Addressing a rally at Dhaka’s Kawran Bazar as part of her ‘mass
contact’ drive through the capital, she said the ‘incumbent’
government has raised price of power five times since it assumed
office . “The price of gas and fuel oil has also been raised several
times”, she said.
She said that rising prices of these essential commodities were
affecting the overall price line in the country.
“This will not be tolerated,” she warned. “We will protest and there
will be strikes.”
Recently Energy Advisor to the Prime Minister, Toufique-e-Elahi
Chowdhury has argued for lowering of subsidies on fuel oil which would
inevitably lead to increasing its price.
Earlier Finance Minister AMA Muhith also supported the move.
The government has increased prices of diesel, petrol, octane,
kerosene and furnace oil a year ago on Dec 31 last year, while power
rates were hiked on Sep 1 this year.
Retail power prices went up by almost 15 percent while bulk power
rates were increased by 17 percent.
Khaleda Zia’s motorcade, led by a group of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal
and Juba Dal motorcycle out-riders arrived at Kawran Bazar around
At her speech there, she said the country ‘had turned to a golden
Bengal only for them (ruling AL)’.
She accused the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) as being “linked to
corruption” instead of being an independent body it was supposed to
be. “This is why the ACC did not file charges against Abul Hasan and
Abul Hossain, because if these corrupt ministers are booked, several
higher-ups will be exposed. That is why they (ACC) will not catch
Khaleda assured that her party would return to the parliament but only
if a special session was called to consider reinstatement of caretaker
“No elections would be allowed to be held without caretaker
government,” she thundered.
The BNP Chairperson alleged that all leading business bodies were
‘under the grip of the Awami League”
Of the ‘Hall-Mark scam’, Khaleda Zia said the ‘incumbent’ government
‘instead of arresting those who were siphoning off money abroad, were
arresting innocent people’.
Regarding the Skype controversy of Justice Nizamul Haq , she termed
daily Amar Desh Acting Editor Mahmudur Rahman a ‘patriot’ and said the
government has sued him for the sedition ‘because he told the truth’.
The BNP Chairperson’s motorcade left for Dholaikhal in Old Dhaka
around 1:45pm where another rally would be held.