BNP and its associate bodies will celebrate the 80th birth anniversary of party founder Ziaur Rahman across the country on Tuesday.Born on January 19, 1936 at Bagbari in Bogra, Zia had become the country’s 7th president and formed Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).BNP has taken up various programmes to observe the day.The programmes include hoisting of the party flag atop its offices, placing wreaths and holding a prayer session at Zia’s graveside and arranging discussion and free medical camp.BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia, the widow of the party founder, along with its leaders and activists will place wreaths on Zia’s grave around 10am.A discussion on the life of Ziaur Rahman was held on Sunday at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh on the occasion.BNP’s associate organisations and district committees have also chalked out various programmes to mark the day.Ziaur Rahman Foundation will hold a discussion at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity at 3pm on Tuesday.Doctors’ Association of Bangladesh (DAB) will arrange a free medical camp and voluntary blood donation on the ground floor of BNP’s Nayapaltan central office from 9am to 4pm on Tuesday.Besides, BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir issued a message on the occasion showing profound homage to late Zia.He prayed for salvation of his departed soul.
After the country’s independence, Zia had become Bangladesh’s Army Chief and later president. He rose to power on November 7, 1975 following the coup of mid-August and the counter-coup of November 3.In April 1977, he took over as president from Justice ASM Sayem, who had been installed in office by General Khaled Musharraf on November 6, 1975 but was kept on by the new military leadership.Zia had arranged presidential elections in June 1978 in which he defeated General MAG Osmany, the candidate of the combined opposition. In the same year, he founded the BNP. On his watch, general elections in early 1979 gave his new party a majority in parliament.Zia was assassinated by a cable of army officers at Chittagong Circuit House on the night of May 30, 1981. Since then, BNP is headed by his wife Khaleda Zia.