Dhaka, November 16 (Language) The opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) on Thursday called for a 48-hour nationwide strike, demanding the cancellation of the January 7 general elections.
The opposition also claimed that the purpose of this election is to bring Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s ruling Awami League government to power for the fourth consecutive term.
The announcement comes a day after Chief Election Commissioner Qazi Habibul Awal said that the much-awaited general elections will be held on January 7.
BNP senior joint general secretary Ruhul Kabir Rizvi called for a two-day general strike from 6 am on Sunday.
The party led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia rejected the announcement of the election schedule and vowed to continue protesting against the government’s decision to continue the election process.
Senior BNP leader Abdul Moin Khan said, ‘Everyone in Bangladesh knows the result of this election.’
Several allies of the BNP, including the far-right Jamaat-e-Islami, supported the strike call, forcing law enforcement agencies to step up security vigil nationwide and also call in paramilitary forces to protect highways and major cities.
The opposition continued an intermittent nationwide transport blockade from 28 October, disrupting supply systems. The opposition has demanded Prime Minister Hasina’s resignation to make way for a neutral government to hold elections.
In an indirect reference to the BNP and its allies, Awal said his office invited all registered political parties to hold talks with the commission that were ‘reluctant’ to participate in the upcoming elections, but ”they rejected the invitation. rejected.”
At least five people, including a policeman, have died in political violence in the last two weeks. More than 200 people were injured and dozens of vehicles were damaged or set on fire during the protests. This led authorities to deploy paramilitary forces to protect highways and maintain law and order in major cities.
According to media reports, around 8,000 opposition leaders and workers, including BNP General Secretary Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, have been arrested in the nationwide crackdown.
Language Amit Madhav