BNP activists start arriving in capital

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Grassroots and mid-level leaders and activists of Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its associate organisations have started coming to the capital in advance to join the ‘march to Dhaka’ programme on December 29.

Some leaders of BNP and its different wings told New Age on Thursday that leaders and activists from different districts, particularly distant districts, have started arriving in advance since Wednesday keeping in mind that the government had previously taken measures preventing such programmes like the ‘march to Dhaka’ on March 12 last year. 

‘We have taken all-out preparations to make the ‘march to Dhaka’ programme a success. Already leaders and activists have started coming to Dhaka,’ Shirin Sultana, general secretary of Jatiyatabadi Mohila Dal, women’s wing of BNP, told New Age on Thursday.

She said arrival of leaders and activists would continue until December 29. 

BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia on Wednesday warned the government of ‘dire consequences’ if it barred her from joining the march or did not allow holding of the programme on December 29.

On December 24, she announced the ‘march to Dhaka’ calling it ‘march for democracy’ to press the government to stop the one-sided parliamentary elections on January 5.

The marchers are scheduled to converge in front of BNP central office at Naya Paltan around 2:00pm on December 29. A mid-level leader who wanted not to be named told New Age that instructions had been given to the party’s grassroots activists who had scope of accommodation in the capital to arrive in advance. 

The leader said they had adopted the strategy from experience that the government had taken preventive measures during the opposition’s ‘Dhaka march’ on March 12 last year.

He said the government at that time had stopped inter-district road and river transports to prevent the party leaders and activists from coming to Dhaka as well as instructed residential hotels not to allow the marchers to stay in the hotels in the capital.

However, the BNP leader said this time the activists coming in advance were staying with their relatives or at messes in the capital.

Nazmul Ahsan, office secretary of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, student wing of BNP, told New Age that a good number of leaders and activists of JCD from different districts had already arrived in the city.

He claimed that a large number of activists would arrive in Dhaka today. Khulna city BNP president Nazrul Islam Manju, also a lawmaker, told New Age that leaders and activists from Khulna had started for Dhaka adding that the journey to Dhaka would continue. 

He said more than 10,000 leaders and activists from Khulna would join the ‘Dhaka march’ if the government did not stop movement of

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