Terming incorrect the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)’s observation that the BNP-led 20-party’s blockade enforced on January-5 is not formally lifted, BNP on Monday said their party now has no political programme, including the blockade.“It’s not correct what was mentioned about the blockade programme in the travel alert issued by the UK’s FCO. We want to reaffirm that now there’s no BNP’s blockade programme in force,” BNP spokesman Asaduzzaman Ripon told a press briefing at the party’s central office.
As a journalist drew his attention to the UK’s travel alert statement saying the blockade is yet to be withdrawn officially, the BNP leader said BNP now is not carrying out any political action programme as it is now engaged in party reorganising process.
“There may be a misunderstanding over the blockade programme though our chairperson had earlier made it clear that the blockade programme was no longer effective. We’d called off our hartal and blockade programmes,” the BNP spokesman added.
In the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice for its citizens here said, “There is continuing tension between the government and the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) led 20 Party Alliance. In January 2015 the opposition called a nationwide blockade of road, rail and river transport and held a programme of general strikes (hartals). These lasted several months and resulted in a number of deaths, including from arson attacks on public transport. While not formally lifted, politically motivated disruption and violence have reduced considerably since April 2015.”
BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia enforced the non-stop nationwide transport blockade on January 5 from her Gulshan office after being barred from joining a 20-Party programme on the anniversary of the 10th general election.
Though Khaleda Zia returned to her Gulshan residence after her three-month’s stay in her office, the alliance did not formally withdraw the blockade programme.
But, the BNP chief at a press conference on April 27 said the nationwide transport blockade was no longer in force.