Dhaka– Jatiya Oikyafront chief Dr Kamal Hossain on Wednesday urged the people of all walks of life to prepare for a united movement to free the country from the hands of ‘autocrat’.Speaking at a public rally at the city’s Registry Field, he also said people will again become the country’s owners as the victory of their alliance is certain through a united movement.
Kamal, also the president of Gono Forum, also demanded the release of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail. “We all must get united and take to the streets to free the country from the grasp of autocrat, become independent citizens of an independent country and restore people’s ownership of power and the country,” he said.
Kamal Hossain further said, “Get united under Oikyafront and our victory is certain. The victor of Bangladesh’s people is for sure. We’ll again become the country’s owners and bring the country under our control, ensure people’s overall welfare and equality through a united movement.”
Jatiya Oikyafront arranged the rally to mobilise public support in favour of the alliance’s seven-point demand, including holding the next election under a non-party administration.
It was the first political programme of the new alliance of four parties–BNP, Gano Forum, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD-Rob) and Nagorik Oaky– since its formation on October 13.
Kamal said though the government talks about development, only a handful of people have been benefited. “The development of a few people is not the real development…we want the development of all. Let’s get united for the real development.”
He reminded that the Bengalese had been successful whenever they got united in the past. “So, get united thinking about our victory, we’ll surely be the owner of state power, and we’ll take the country forward with our united efforts so that we can enjoy our all rights.”
Kamal said though people are the owners of the country as per the constitution, they have been deprived of it. “People’s unity and a truly fair and credible election are essential to revive the ownership of the country. So, our number-1 demand is a free, fair and impartial election.”
He urged people to make the national unity stronger at every village, upazila and districts. Speaking at the rally as the main speaker, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said their alliance’s main target is to restore democracy and people’s voting rights. “Our target is also to build a welfare-state. Let’s get united.”
He said people joined the rally braving various obstacles. “The people of Sylhet have proved they want to bring back democracy through their participation in the rally. We’ll restore people’s rights through a peaceful movement.”
The BNP leader said their party together with Oikyafront waged a new struggle from the sacred land of Sylhet for the restoration of democracy.
He said they will ensure their party Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s release from jail through the movement.Fakhrul demanded the government quit before the announcement of the election schedule and take steps for holding the election under a non-party administration after dissolving the current parliament.
He also called upon people, including their party leaders and activists, to get ready for making sacrifice for making their movement a success.
JSD president ASM Abdur Rob urged people to take to the streets to free the country from hands of dacoits, plunderers and ensure restoration of democracy and Khaleda’s release from jail.
He, however, warned people not to respond to the government’s any provocation and carry out their movement in a peaceful manner. Nagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna said the government will not be able to hold a lopsided election this time as several crores of people will guard the polling stations and will remain there in the field.
He urged the government to quit power before announcement of the election schedule and engage in talks with political parties for ensuring a credible election.
BNP standing committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Moudud Ahmed, Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan, Gano Forum general secretary Mostafa Mohsin Montu, executive president Subrata Chowdhury, JSD vice president Tania Rob, Oikya Prokriya member secretary Mostafa Amin and Gonoshasthya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury, among others, spoke at the rally
Some leaders of the BNP-led 20-party alliance, including LDP’s Redwan Ahmed, Jatiya Party’s (Zafar) Mostafa Jamal Haider, Islami Oikya Jote’s MA Rakib, Khelafat Majlish’s Ahmed Abdul Kader, Kalyan Party’s Aminur Rahman, and Jamiat e Ulama e Islam Bangladesh’s Sahinur Pasha, also addressed the rally.
The rally activities started around 2pm with recitation from the holy Quran and holy Gita. Sylhet City Mayor Ariful Haque Chowdhury is presiding over the rally.
Before the start of the rally, the senior leaders of the Oikyafront visited the Shrines of Hazrat Shahjalal (R), Shah Paran (R) and the grave of General MAG Osmani, and offered fateha there on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
Thousands of BNP leaders and activists holding placards, banners and portraits of BNP founder Ziaur Rahman, chairperson Khaleda Zia and acting chairman Tarique Rahman thronged the rally venue since noon. They chanted various slogans demanding Khaleda’s release from jail.
Meanwhile, Sylhet Oikyafront coordinator and BNP general secretary Ali Ahmed alleged that many people and rally-bound vehicles were obstructed at different parts of the city by police.UNB