The political arena in Bangladesh is hotting up with the main political parties gearing up to show their strength for the battle ahead for the general elections scheduled to be held in December next year or January 2024.
The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and the ruling Awami League (AL) both organised rallies on Saturday to showcase their strength and lay out their agenda and strategy for the big battle ahead.
Going ahead with its 4th Divisional rally at Rangpur on Saturday after the rallies at Chattogram, Mymensingh and Khulna earlier, the opposition BNP demanded the resignation of the Sheikh Hasina government. Addressing a large rally, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir called for the dissolution of parliament before the next election could be held under a caretaker government. He said that BNP MPs are ready to resign from parliament anytime in support of their demand.
Alleging that the government was afraid of the people, the BNP leaders asked why a transport strike was called ahead of the BNP rally. Earlier, in a repeat of the situation observed during the Khulna rally on 23 October, the buses, lorries and other public transport of Rangpur went on a 36-hour strike before the start of the BNP rally on Saturday.
The Awami League also organised a big rally in the capital city of Dhaka on Saturday on the occasion of the triennial council of the Dhaka district unit of the AL. Addressing the rally, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader challenged the BNP to look at the turnout at the rally to understand the public support Awami League enjoys. Calling the BNP communal and violent, Obaidul Quader said that the spirit of democracy, independence and Liberation War would not be safe in the hands of the BNP.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said at the rally that the AL believes in the mandate of the people and they will vote for the party to bring Sheikh Hasina back to power. He said that people believe that as long as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina leads the country, the pace of progress and development would continue and they would be able to live in peace and harmony.