Dhaka, Nov 7 (UNB) - Jatiya Oikyafront has cancelled its planned Thursday’s road march towards Rajshahi programme as the alliance has decided only to hold a rally there on Friday.
“We’ve canceled tomorrow’s (Thursday’s) road-march programme for an avoidable reason,” Nagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna told UNB.
BNP’s Rajshahi divisional organising secretary Ruhul Kuddus Talukder Dulu said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir informed him that Oikyafront will only hold a rally on Friday in Rajshahi as their road-march programme has been cancelled.
Earlier in the day, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir at a press conference at Dr Kamal Hossain’s Bailey Road residence said they will hold a road march towards Rajshahi on Thursday.
An Oikyafront leader said they may observe a march on foot programme towards the Election Commission on Sunday if it announces the election schedule on Thursday.
About the reasons behind cancellation of the road-march programme, he said they could not take proper preparation for the programme due to harassment by law enforcers and time constraints.
Besides, the Oikyafront leader said their some senior leaders declined to go by road to Rajshahi due to their illness.
Meanwhile, BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said their party will hold a discussion at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh on Thursday afternoon marking what he said the National Revolution and Solidarity Day.
Nov 7 (UNB) – BNP leaders and activists on Wednesday paid homage to their party founder and late president Ziaur Rahman, marking what they said the National Revolution and Solidarity Day.
Amid political turmoil, soldiers and civilians jointly freed then chief of army staff Ziaur Rahman from captivity in Dhaka cantonment on 7 November 1975, paving the way for Zia to come to power.
BNP and its associate bodies chalked out various programmes to observe the day.
As part of the programmes, senior BNP leaders, led by party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, together with its activists placed a wreath at Zia’s grave at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the city around 10am.
They also offered fateha there and a munajat seeking salvation of Zia’s departed soul.
BNP standing committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Moudud Ahmed, Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan, Nazrul Islam Khan, vice-chairmen Altaf Hossain Chowdhury, Shahjahan Omar, Mohammad Shahjahan, Inam Ahmed Chowdhury, AZM Zahid Hossain, chairperson’s advisers Amanullah Aman, Zainul Abedin Farroque, Habibur Rahman Habib, joint secretaries general Mahbubuddin Khokan and Khairul Kabir Khokon were, among others, present.
Leaders and activists of different units and associate bodies of the party also laid wreaths at its founder’s grave on the occasion.
Earlier in the morning, BNP flag was hoisted at the party’s Nayapaltan central office and chairperson’s Gulshan office and other party offices across the country.
While BNP celebrates November 7 as the National Revolution and Solidarity Day, the ruling Awami League and its front organisations consider it as the day of ‘killing of freedom fighters’.
Dhaka, Nov 7 (UNB) – Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda will announce the schedule for the 11th parliamentary elections in a televised address to the nation at 7pm on Thursday.
Bangladesh Television and Bangladesh Betar will simultaneously air the CEC’s address to the nation, said a handout on Wednesday.
Private TV channels and radio stations will also air the CEC’s address taking feed from the BTV and Bangladesh Betar.
The Election Commission took the decision on November 4 to announce the election schedule through the televised address to the nation by the CEC.
Dhaka, Nov 7 (UNB) – Jatiya Oikyafront chief Dr Kamal Hossain on Wednesday said the ball is now in the government’s court to resolve the crisis over the next general election through talks.
“We’re making our efforts and continue to do it in the future so that everything happens in a peaceful and stable manner. It’s the government’s responsibility to maintain peace and stability. The ball is now in the government’s court,” he said.
Dr Kamal came up with the comment at a press briefing at his Bailey Road residence after a three-hour dialogue between the leaders of Jatiya Oikyafront and Sheikh Hasina–led 14-party alliance at Ganobhaban.
He thanked the Prime Minister for holding talks with then in two phases.
During today’s talks, he said they proposed for the continuation of the discussion on a limited scale on their seven-point demand. “We’ve said we’re willing to hold talks on a small scale.”
Kamal said the Prime Minister assured them of withdrawing the ‘false and fictitious’ cases filed against thousands of opposition leaders and activists.
He said Sheikh Hasina also assured them that neither anymore fictitious or disturbing cases will be filed against Oikyafront leaders and activist nor they will be arrested in the days to come.
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said they have taken the dialogue as part of their movement. “We’re always on a movement. We still believe the problem should be resolved through talks. If the government doesn’t reach any understanding, it’ll be held responsible for the evolving situation.”
He also said they are going to people with their demands and will realise those through a movement together with people.
The BNP leader, however, said the government told them that there is a further scope to carry on discussions on their demands. “We’ll now motivate people to realise our demands.”
Asked whether they are happy or unhappy over the second round of talks, he declined to make any specific comment on it now. “As we’re going to people, they’ll attain their satisfaction.”
Replying to a question, the BNP secretary general said they could not reach any final decision on their demands for Khaleda Zia’s release, dissolution of parliament, government’s resignation and Election Commission reconstitution. “We proposed carrying out discussions on the issues further and they said it can be held.”
He said they talked about Khaleda’s release, and they strongly argued that she can be released through granting bail for her.
Fakhrul, however, said they did not discuss anything about her release on parole.
Asked what will be their position if the election schedule is announced on Thursday, he said they will march on foot towards the Election Commission as part of their protest programmes.
Besides, the BNP leader said, they will hold a road march towards Rajshahi on Thursday, and hold a rally there on Friday.
Fakhrul said they were told in the talks that the election schedule can be revised later after their further discussions. “There’s no relation between our further discussions and the election schedule as it is possible to reschedule it.”
Dhaka, Nov 7 (UNB) - Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Wednesday said the electoral process will move forward alongside discussions but there will be no more dialogue.
"The electoral process will move forward…the discussions will also continue but dialogue will not be held anymore," he said in reply to a query after a three-hour dialogue between the leaders of Jatiya Oikyafront and Sheikh Hasina–led 14-party alliance at Ganobhaban.
Obaidul Quader, also the Road Transport and Bridges Minister, said the Prime Minister assured the Jatiya Oikyafront leaders of holding a fair, credible and acceptable election.
The Prime Minister urged the Oikyafront leaders to take part in the election as a level-playing field will be created for making the election acceptable, he said.
"Our leader (PM) in her winding-up speech (at the dialogue) clearly requested them to take part in the election saying that she’ll prove it right what he said by holding a free and fair election," Quader said.
The AL general secretary quoted Sheikh Hasina as saying, "If people give me the mandate, we'll there in power…there’ll be no rigging and forgery in the election…it’ll be a good, free, fair, credible and acceptable election."
Over Oikyafront's demand for army deployment with magistracy power during the election, the Prime Minister informed them that army will be deployed as a striking force and they will be engaged in aid of the local administration, he said.
The Prime Minister said there is no system of army deployment with magistracy power in any democratic country.
During the meeting, the Oikyafront leaders demanded that the election be held either at the end of February or in March next after the dissolution of parliament and formation of a neutral government with a chief adviser and 10 advisers, Quader said.
He said the demand of holding polls in the 90 days after the dissolution of parliament is a plea to delay the election, which may invite recurrence of intruding ill-force like the 1/11 regime.
"We clearly told them we won’t go beyond the Constitution," he said about the formation of the election-time neutral government.
Assuring that a level-playing field will prevail during the election, the Prime Minister said all the candidates will enjoy equal facilities and no minister and MP will be able to enjoy extra facilities.
"If the Election Commission allows free access of foreign election observers to any booth or polling station, we'll have no objection," Quader quoted the Prime Minister as saying.
"Participate in the election, we want to see a free, fair and neutral election, and cooperate with us in this regard," Sheikh Hasina was quoted as telling the Oikyafront leaders.
About the demand for releasing political detainees, Hasina handed over Oikyafront’s list of detainees to the Law Minister asking him to take measures to release them if they are found truly political detainees in investigations.
Talking about announced action programmes of Oikyafront, the AL general secretary said rallies and road-march are democratic programmes. "But we can't remain silent if they engage in bomb and arson attacks while observing the programmes."
About the demand for Khaleda Zia's release from the jail, the Road Transport and Bridges Minister said they are actually seeking bail for her not her release.
court convicted her…they can fight the legal battle and seek bail from the court. If the court releases her on bail, we've no objection," he said.
Mentioning that the discussion was held in a cordial atmosphere, he said, "No unpleasant thing occurred in this talk. This is also a positive progress."