BNP on Wednesday observed the 74th birthday of its Chairperson Khaleda Zia, now in jail, through holding doa and milad mahfil (prayer sessions) instead of cutting any cake.
The party arranged a milad mahfil at the party’s Nayapaltan central office around 11:30am on the occasion. Jatiyatabadi Mohila Dal also organised a doa mahfil at the BNP office.
Another milad was held at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office in the evening, seeking divine blessings for Khaleda’s long and healthy life, and her release from jail.
Party senior leaders, including its secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, standing committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Moudud Ahmed, Nazrul Islam Khan, vice chairmen Abdullah Al Noman, Barkat Ullah Bulu, Abdul Awal Mintoo, Khandker Mahbub Hossain, Zainul Abedin and AZM Zahid Hossain, attended the programme.
Besides, BNP’s different upazila and district units held milad mahfil across the country and prayed for Khaleda’s recovery from illness and release from jail.
As in the last two years, the party did not cut any cake to celebrate the birthday in the early hours of Wednesday.
Amid criticisms by Awami League leaders for celebrating her birthday on the National Mourning Day, BNP also marked her 72nd and 73rd birthday through holding doa mahfil instead of cutting any cake.
Khaleda has been in Old Dhaka Central Jail since her conviction in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case by a lower court on February 8 last.
The BNP chief was born in 1945. But, there are debates about her actual date of birth and even the birth year.
The controversy over the birthday began in 1991 when Khaleda first celebrated it on August 15 after assuming office as prime minister and declared it as her ‘official birthday’.
Awami League leaders have long been claiming that her birthday is September 5, 1945 as per her marriage certificate while August 19, 1946 as per her first passport. Khaleda herself put the date as August 9, 1944 while registering for her matriculation exams, they said.