Main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Wednesday formally announced a ‘one-point’ movement with a goal to remove Awami League from the power to hold the upcoming national elections under a neutral government.
As part of the first programme, a two-day road march programme has also been announced for July 18 and 19.
Fakhrul came up with the announcement at a huge rally organised by the party’s Dhaka north and south units in front of its Nayapaltan Central Office on Wednesday.
On July 18, the road march will be held in all metropolitan cities and districts across the country to realise one-point demand while the same programme will be observed in Dhaka stretching from Gabtali to Jatrabari from 10am to 4pm on the same day.
On July 19, the party will also carry out the similar programme from Uttara’s Abdullahpur to Bahadur Shah Park in the old part of Dhaka from 10am to 4pm.
Apart from the BNP, 36 other like-minded political parties also announced the one-point movement to press home their demand to hold the next parliament elections under a non-party government.
Earlier in the morning, the BNP leaders and activists started gathering before the party’s Nayapaltan office with processions carrying banners, festoons, placards and portraits of the party’s top leaders from different parts of Dhaka since Wednesday morning to join the rally.
Tens of thousands of the BNP leaders and activities thronged in front of the party’s Central Police in response to the party call.
A large number of members of law enforcement agencies were deployed in the Nayapaltan area to maintain law and order.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) issued separate notices not only allowing the BNP to hold the rally at Nayapaltan, but also the ruling Awami League to hold a ‘peace rally’ not very far away at the Baitul Mokarram South Gate. Both parties were given permission to hold the rallies on 23 conditions, including ending the programmes by 5 pm
Alongside the BNP, its like-minded political parties were set to announce the one-point demand through separate rallies in the capital on Wednesday.
Ganatantra Mancha, a platform of six parties that shares the BNP’s view that the government must resign ahead of elections, or otherwise be toppled through a movement, announced their participation in the one-point movement at 4 pm by holding a meeting outside the Jatiya Press Club.
A separate 12-party alliance that similarly believes no fair election can be held under the Awami League-led government came up with a similar announcement from a rally in front of Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU). The Jatiyatabadi Samomona Jote at Bijoynagar, the Liberal Democratic Party at Tejgaon and Gonoforum and People’s Party at Motijheel and Labour Party at Nayapaltan at different times of the day announced the same demand.
Besides, two splinter groups of the Gono Odhikar Parishad (one led by Reza Kibria and the other by Nurul Haque Nur), Gonotantrik Bam Oikya, Samomona Gonotantrik Peshajibi Jote and Sadaran Chhatra Odhikar Sanrakshan Parishad held rallies in front of the Jatiya Press Club around 3 pm and announced their participation in the one-point movement.
Earlier at a public rally on December 10 last in the capital’s Golapbagh field, the BNP had announced a 10-point charter of demands including the resignation of the government, the dissolution of parliament, and the transfer of power to a non-partisan government.
BNP and its like-minded parties observed various programmes, including human chains, sits-in, road marches and rallies across the country, over the last seven months since the announcement of the 10-point movement, which itself came at the end of a programme of divisional rallies that started in August.