Opposition to intensify movement before Ramadan

After a prolonged scattered anti-government campaign, the BNP-led 18-party alliance is now planning to intensify its movement with tougher programmes after mid-June to give the government a jolt before Ramadan to concede its demand for restoration of the caretaker government system.The alliance leaders think they should send out a strong message to the government before holy Ramadan that they can realise their demand through a strong street movement as the regime, after ‘suppressing’ Hefajat men, has become ‘overconfident’ indicating that the opposition cannot do anything braving its repressive acts.
Under the circumstances, BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia at her recent meetings with BNP policymakers and the top leaders of the 18-party alliance elaborately discussed the movement strategies and exhorted the leaders to be on war mood to effectively strengthen the movement to have a quick and positive outcome.
“We’ re thinking to reinforce our ongoing movement after mid-June with very tough action programmes like siege and blockade apart from hartal for a longer period to force the government to accept our demand for restoration of the caretaker government and establish people’s democratic rights,” BNP standing committee member Lt Gen (retd) Mahbubur Rahman told UNB.
He alleged that the government has pushed the country into a deep crisis with its undemocratic and uncompromising attitude and extreme oppressive measures. “The government is gradually snatching people’s all democratic rights. As the opposition, it’s our duty to fight for reestablishing people’s rights, and this time we’ll show the regime our full strength to this end.”
The BNP policymaker said senior party leaders will visit different districts within June 15 to take all-out preparations for a strong movement and motivate the party leaders and activists at the grassroots level. The BNP chairperson may also visit some districts and carry out an anti-government campaign from June to before Ramadan, he added.
“No option is left for us but to strengthen the movement with harsher programmes as the government is not seemingly willing to resolve the crisis over the election-time government through talks,” another BNP standing committee member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy told UNB.
Mentioning that the government is increasingly becoming ‘tyrannical’ and ‘repressive’, he said, “We’ve tried to find out a solution to the political deadlock in a peaceful manner. But the government has taken a rigid stance intensifying its repressive acts to deny our demand. So, we’ll realise our demand through a tougher movement.”
Mustafizur Rahman Iran, chairman of Bangladesh Labour Party who attended a meeting of the alliance leaders with Khaleda on June 27, said they have chalked out action programmes like blockade, siege, sit-in, non-cooperation, and hartal for three or four straight days in a week after June 15 to force the government to settle the issue of caretaker government before Ramadan.
He said they are expecting that they will win all the four city cooperation polls slated for June 15 which will help give a boost to their movement.
“If the government tries to manipulate the polls, it’ll also add another dimension to our movement.”
Iran said the alliance and the BNP chairperson’s stance is that the next general election will have to be held under a non-party administration and it will in no way accept Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and even President Abdul Hamid and Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury as the chief of the polls-time government.
Explaining the reason for intensifying the movement after mid-June, another BNP standing committee member wishing anonymity said they will not be able carry out movement during the Ramadan. “We’ll have only a few months after Ramadan. So, we want to settle the issue before the holy month.”
The other reasons, he cited, are the party’s 14-day programme marking its founder president Ziaur Rahman’s death anniversary, O level and A level exams till June 10 and city corporation polls on June 15.(Source: UNB)

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