BNP on Saturday strongly condemned and protested the renaming of ‘Shaheed President Ziaur Rahman High School at Mughaltuli in Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC), saying it is an act of "political vengeance" of the current government.
In a statement, party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir alleged that the DSCC authorities have changed the name of the school as Puran Mughaltuli High School "ignoring the demand of the local people" and their sentiment.
“When a decision to change the name of the school had been taken, BNP and local people immediately registered their protest against it. We had urged the city corporation to refrain from such a vindictive measure, but it’s regrettable that they didn’t pay heed to any demand of people,” he alleged.
In recognition of Zia’s glorious and courageous role in the Liberation War and his contributions to building a modern and prosperous Bangladesh, Sadeque Hossain Khoka, the BNP leader said the then elected mayor of Dhaka City Corporation, established the 'Shaheed President Ziaur Rahman High School' at the initiative of the city corporation in 2006.
Fakhrul alleged that Dhaka South City Corporation has changed the name of the school driven by the "politics of vengeance and distortion of history of the present government".
“We strongly condemn and protest this move. The current fascist regime made many attempts to erase the name of Ziaur Rahman from people’s hearts for over the last 12 years, but failed, and won’t be able to do that ever,” he said.
The BNP leader warned that those who try to remove Zia’s name will be thrown into the "dustbin of history" and they will be erased from the minds of people forever.
Also read: BNP demands reelections to local bodies
Nagorik Oikya Convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna on Saturday alleged that the "government-backed syndicate" has raised the prices of daily essentials to make a quick buck, inflicting suffering on people.
"The prices of essentials are going up because of a syndicate-backed by the government. That’s why it’s unable to rein in this syndicate,” he told a human-chain programme.
Manna said, “They (govt) are unable to reduce the prices of essentials. What kind of government is this? People, their lives and assets, and the dignity of women are no longer safe under the current regime.”
Bangladesh Labour Party arranged the programme in front of the Jatiya Press Club protesting the price hike of essentials.
The Nagorik Oikya chief said the prices of essentials will not come down and the incidents of crossfire, repression on women and fire in slums will not stop as long as the current government remains in power.
He said there is no alternative to waging a mass movement to overcome the sordid condition of the country and the ‘misrule’ of the government. “Forge a big alliance together with all the democratic parties and take to the streets to oust the government. We must take preparations for that.”
Stating that the government has snatched people’s all the democratic rights, Manna said people must restore their rights through a democratic movement.
“We don’t want any chaos as we just look for getting back our lost rights. They (AL) snatched our victory in this month by hijacking votes. We now take a vow in this month to get our victory back,” he added.
Manna said over 30 people are dying of coronavirus every day while about 2,500 people are getting infected as the winter wave of the deadly virus has begun in the country.
“TIB has recently said the government lied about the Corona situation. Those who have conducted various studies so far, including (icddr,b) said that at least 50 percent of people in Dhaka city have been infected with corona, but the government didn’t give us that information.”
He said the government is only asking people to mask up, but hospitals lack necessary oxygen facilities and there is no step to ensure adequate oxygen plants at the hospitals.
Manna voiced worry that people will not get treatment at the hospitals if the corona cases continue to spike in the coming days as the government has no preparation to deal with the worsening situation.
Also read: Manna accuses govt of oppression
BNP senior leader Selima Rahman on Friday warned that the country may face a famine-like situation in the days to come due to the government’s ‘misrule and failures’ to deliver.
"Whenever Awami League comes to power, the country faces misrule and famine. Bangladesh now has got paralysed due to misrule,” she said.
Speaking at a discussion, the BNP leader said, "Famine is knocking on our door. Ordinary people are starving as the prices of essentials have skyrocketed while thousands of youths have become jobless. Even then, they (govt) are in peaceful sleep.”
Pro-BNP student leaders of Dhaka University Central Students Union (Ducsu) and All- Party Students Unity (Apsu) of the 90s arranged the programme at the Jatiya Press Club marking the 34th martyrdom anniversary of Dr Shamsul Alam Khan Milon during the 90s’ anti-autocratic movement.
Selima, a BNP standing committee member, slammed Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quaer for what she said regularly talking about BNP’s existence and its failure to wage a movement. “Why’re you (Quader) so worried about the existence of BNP? You’ve no reason to be concerned about BNP. But the fact is that you’re sacred of Zia family.”
She also criticised the government for not taking effective steps to contain the outbreak of the coronavirus in Bangladesh at the early stage. "When panicked gripped the entire world with the spread of the corona pandemic, they (govt) said they’re stronger than the virus. In reality, they pushed people towards death without taking preventive measures and ensuring the availability of tests.”
The BNP leader said corona-infected people died on the roads and reused one hospital to another for lack of treatment facilities at the early stage of the virus outbreaks as the government has taken the pandemic as a means of ‘trade’ and making money through ‘corruption’. “The Health Ministry is now on the verge of collapse.”
Selima urged all to get united to save the country from ‘misrule’, famine and restore democracy through a movement.
Also read: BNP to wage movement if energy bill passed
BNP has formed a steering committee to celebrate the golden jubilee of the country's independence with a year-long programme in 2021.
In a press release, BNP acting office secretary Syed Emran Saleh Prince on Thursday said a seven-member steering committee of the party was formed to facilitate the celebration of the golden jubilee.
The committee members are BNP leaders Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan, Nazrul Islam Khan, Selima Rahman, Iqbal Hasan Mahmud Tuku and BNP chairperson's advisory council member Abdus Salam.
On November 1, the party formed a 115-member convening committee, headed by Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, to work out programmes for the celebration of the mega event of independence and implement those.
The committee has recently worked out a year-long programme to celebrate the golden jubilee of independence next year.
The programmes include essay and drawing competitions, painting exhibitions, thematic publications on democracy, human rights, women's empowerment, foreign policy, free-market economy, BNP's role in economic development, workshops, publication of booklets, distribution of leaflets, production of documentaries, cultural programmes, seminars-symposiums and discussions on various nationally important issues and rallies.
Besides, the party’s all the city, district and upazila units will also take up various programmes, including discussions and rallies, to celebrate the golden jubilee.
Also read: BNP to join all upcoming polls: Fakhrul
BNP has again resorted to violence, failing to garner people's support. To the party, democracy means distorting the history of Bangladesh's independence.
Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader said this on Sunday while inaugurating a road construction project in Cox's Bazar through video conference.
All parties have the right to carry out peaceful political programs, Quader said.
However, he warned that if any attempt is made to disturb the peace and disrupt daily life, the government will do what is necessary.
If BNP loses any election, it pins the blame on the government and the election commission, Quader said.
"And when BNP wins, the party claims that it could have won more votes had the government not intervened. Also, BNP's role in strengthening democratic institutions has largely fallen short of people's expectations."
Quader, also the road transport and bridges minister, said the 80 kilometer Cox's Bazar-Teknaf marine drive has allowed the visitors to view the sea in all its beautiful glory. "And initiatives have already been taken to expand it."
"Work on the four-lane highway from Cox's Bazar Link Road to Laboni Point would be completed soon, too."
Also read: You better resign: Quader to BNP leadership