POST TIME: 9 November, 2018 08:22:09 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 9 November, 2018 09:12:25 AM
Oikyafront Rajshahi rally today

Oikyafront Rajshahi rally today

File photo

The Opposition alliance, the Jatiya Oikya Front, is going to hold a public rally in Rajshahi on Friday afternoon, demanding implementation of its seven-point charter of demands for holding free, fair and neutral general elections. The public rally, the first of its kind in the northern divisional city of Rajshahi, will be held at the Madrasha ground at 2pm.

Top Oikyafront leaders, including Dr Kamal Hossain of Gano Forum, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain of the BNP, ASM Rab of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, Bangabir Kader Siddique of Krishak Sramik Janata League, Mahmudur Rahman Manna of Nagorik Oikya and Sultan Mohammed Mansur and others will address the rally.

This will be the first public meeting of the newly formed Opposition alliance after the announcement of the poll schedule by the chief election commissioner. Earlier, the front held public meetings at Sylhet, Chattogram and Dhaka.

Sources said that the Oikyafront leaders are likely to clarify their stance on its participation in the general elections or announce the next course of political action, indicating whether they would remain rigid on their demands, including dissolution of Parliament, release of Khaleda Zia and the formation of a poll-time neutral administration.   

Meanwhile, after receiving permission, leaders and activists of the Jatiya Oikyafront in Rajshahi started preparations for the meeting at the Madrasha ground of the city, a part of its central programme.

On Thursday, around 12:30pm, the BNP-led Oikyafront organised an immediate press conference, where the BNP chairperson’s adviser Mizanur Rahman Minu alleged that law enforcement agencies gave them permission to hold the meeting just 14 hours before.

Not only that, mass arrests of their leaders and activists have also started ahead of the meeting, said Rahman, who is also the Rajshahi divisional coordinator of the Oikya Front.

Rahman confirmed that secretary-general of the front, Gono Forum president Dr Kamal Hossain, spokesman Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, Mahamudur Rahman Manna, ASM Abdur Rab, Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Moudud Ahmed, Mirza Abbas and Andalib Rahman Partha—all senior leaders in the Jatiya Oikya Front—will be present at the meeting.

Meanwhile, most senior leaders—both of the BNP and the front—have started coming to Rajshahi since Thursday morning. They visited the venue of the meeting on Thursday evening.

Earlier, police gave permission for holding the meeting at the Gonokpara intersection of the city, but later changed their decision and allowed them the Madrasha ground, as BNP leaders had sought. But the organisers have to fulfil 12 conditions for holding the meeting at the venue of their choice, Shafiqul Haque Milon, the secretary of the BNP’s Rajshahi city unit said.

However, barring the BNP, the other three parties under Oikyafront have no activities here. These are the Gono Forum, Nagorik Oikya and JSD (Rab). But after the coordination committee was formed, leaders and activists of those parties have also started work, claimed the secretary of the Gono Forum’s Rajshahi city unit, Hossain Ali Peara.