Sunday, January 3, 2016, Poush 20, 1422 BS, Rabiul Awal 21, 1437 Hijri

Anniv Of Jan 5 Polls
Politics may heat up over planned AL, BNP rallies
Anaet Shawon and Al Amin
Published :Sunday, 3 January, 2016,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 35

The country's political arena is getting heated up ahead of the second anniversary of the January 5 parliamentary elections, as Awami League and its arch rival Bangladesh Nationalist Party have taken preparations to observe the day.
BNP is mustering strength and has already declared programmes to mark the day, while the ruling party plans its observance in a bigger way, making the people tensed.
In 2015, both the parties called for rallies on January 5. AL observed the day as Democracy Saving Day, while BNP dubbed it as Democracy Killing Day.
BNP also announced this time holding a rally in Dhaka to voice its protest against the January 5 elections on Tuesday, the same day the ruling party wants to organise programmes in support of it.
The AL programmes include victory processions in the capital and all districts in the country and a massive rally at Suhrawardy Udyan, for which it applied for DMP permission.
However, AL Publicity Secretary Hasan Mahmud, told a press conference in the morning that the party would hold programmes but did not specify what sort of programmes those would be. "It will be disclosed later," he said.
AL Organising Secretary Khalid Mahmud said, "To maintain constitutional continuation, the January 5 polls have significance, so, we will observe the day as we did the previous year."
While his attention was drawn to the AL's planed programmes, its Joint General Secretary Mahbub-ul-Alam Hanif confirmed his party's seeking permission of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police for the planned Suhrawardi Udyan rally on Tuesday. "We'll observe the Democracy Saving Day in a bigger way," he said.
BNP also sought such DMP permission to hold a demonstration programme in Dhaka on January 5.
BNP's Acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said, "We want to host a major rally in Dhaka's Suhrawardy Udyan to mark the day as Democracy Killing Day and observe related programmes across the country."
The BNP leader was talking to reporters at the party's Naya Paltan headquarters on Saturday evening. "We hope the government will allow us to hold a peaceful rally paving the way for establishing proper democracy in the country," Fakhrul told the press briefing.
A letter was also issued to the DMP authority in this regard, he said, adding that a BNP delegation also met DMP Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia on the day.
BNP Religious Affairs Secretary Masud Ahmed Talukder, Publication Affairs Secretary Engineer Harunur Rashid, Assistant Office Secretaries Abdul Latif Joni and Asadul Karim Shahin were in the delegation.
The DMP commissioner, however, did not let them know about the final decision regarding the permission, BNP sources said.
In the just-concluded year, BNP's attempt on holding a similar demonstration titled Black Day for Democracy ended up in a 3-month agitation that left over a 100 people dead in violence.
After boycotting the Jan 5, 2014 general elections, BNP waged a 99-day blockade on rail, water and roadways when they were denied  hosting a gathering in Dhaka's Paltan area, near its office, on the first anniversary of the polls.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia did not leave her Gulshan office for three months, which she alleged a confinement by the government.
The months-long large scale violence by the BNP and its alliance gained widespread condemnation at home and abroad.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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