The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has staged a massive protest in Dhaka’s Paltan area ahead of the general elections scheduled for January 7. Protestors chanted slogans in Bengali, highlighting that elections are not mere child’s play.
The BNP issued a call for a 48-hour nationwide ‘hartal’ (general strike) to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s “illegal government.” The BNP decided to boycott the general election under former Bangladesh PM Khaleda Zia, advocating for an interim non-party, neutral government to oversee the election. The second day of the strike coincides with tomorrow’s election, which has already garnered global attention.
BNP Joint Senior Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi announced the programs in a virtual press briefing, stating that the hartal will begin at 6 am (local time) today and end at 6 am (local time) on Monday. The Liberal Democratic Party also announced a 48-hour strike for the same reason. This will be the fifth spell of hartals by the BNP and like-minded parties since October 29. Opposition parties implemented nationwide blockades for 23 days in 12 phases over the period.
Bangladesh’s BNP leader has urged people to boycott the upcoming one-sided election, citing potential trouble in the country. The 12-party alliance marched in the capital’s Paltan area, distributing anti-poll leaflets and holding a rally in front of the National Press Club. BNP Standing Committee Member Abdul Moyeen Khan criticized the Awami League government for cheating the people and said it would have to step down
. Awami League President Sheikh Hasina urged people to exercise their voting rights in the upcoming election to prove democracy prevails in Bangladesh. Sheikh Hasina’s final campaign speech before the January 7 national election to form the country’s 12th parliament was televised.
Sheikh Hasina, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, has announced her intention to seek another five-year term in office to ensure sustainable development, improve living standards, and build a smart, developed Bangladesh free from hunger and poverty. She cited Sunkanta Bhattacharya’s poem Udayachal as a reference.
During her three consecutive terms, Bangladesh has maintained a democratic trend and stability, focusing on building a welfare-oriented society based on equality and justice. Hasina believes that if she can form the government again, she can continue implementing her programs and improve living conditions.