Rangpur, Sep 16: The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party said on Saturday that the road-march programme that started in Rangpur demanding the next general election under a neutral government would continue until the government resigned.
‘Our demand is clear. The people of the country no longer want to see Sheikh Hasina in power,’ BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said while inaugurating the youth road march in Rangpur town organised by Jatiyatabadi Juba Dal, Jatiyatabadi Swechchhasebak Dal, and Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal.
‘Dissolve parliament and hold the election under a non-partisan, neutral government. We need to form an impartial election commission. This commission will oversee the electoral process and pave the way for people to choose their representatives freely,’ said the BNP leader.
Recalling the Rangpur farmers’ leader Nuruldin, who had called people to stand up against injustice during British rule, Fakhrul said that now youths were calling upon the people of the country from Rangpur to put up strong resistance against the current dictatorship, fascism, and looters.
Fakhrul said that thousands of people were joining the BNP programmes, which only showed that the government would be swept away by the collective will of the people, paving the way for a people’s government.
‘Today, the people of Bangladesh cannot elect their own representatives. Today, the people of Bangladesh have become helpless due to the soaring prices of essentials,’ he said.
‘The prices of rice, pulses, salt, oil, and all other essentials have gone out of control. We do not have access to electricity. All [money] is being siphoned out of the country through corruption. You will notice that the reserve is falling. They are stealing from the reserve,’ he said.
These young people are the brightest children in Bangladesh, but they have no jobs, he said.
He also alleged that youths faced trouble doing business if they were somehow associated with the BNP.
Speaking about the physical condition of BNP chief Khaleda Zia, who has been undergoing treatment at the capital’s Evercare Hospital for more than a month, Mirza Fakhrul said, ‘Yesterday, on Friday night, I went to see Begum Khaleda Zia, the mother of democracy, in the hospital. She is very sick.’
‘All the doctors [medical board members] were there. They are very worried. The country’s leader has become very ill. We are urging the government to allow her to go abroad for treatment, but the government is not listening to anyone.’
‘After 1/11, this prime minister [Sheikh Hasina] was imprisoned. On parole, she went abroad for treatment. Now she is not allowing Khaleda Zia to receive better treatment abroad,’ Fakhrul added.
The youth road-march programme started from Rangpur at 11:15 am and was attended by top leaders of BNP’s three associate bodies, including Juba Dal president Sultan Salahuddin Tuku, acting general secretary Shafiqul Islam Milton, Swechchhasebak Dal president SM Jilani, general secretary Rajeev Ahsan, Chhatra Dal acting president Rashed Iqbal Khan, and general secretary Saif Mahmud Jewel.
Leaders, activists, and supporters from across the Rangpur division also joined the road march.
The BNP secretary general addressed six more rallies at places, including Tarabganj Bazar in Rangpur, Wapda Road, Paglapur Road, the Truck Stand area in Syedpur, Ranir Bandar in Dinajpur, and the Dinajpur town area.
Several thousand BNP leaders and activists joined the rally.
Another youth road march will be held today in Bagura. It will end in Rajshahi via Naogaon.