Awami League and BNP fighting for supremacy on the streets

AL is preparing to deal with BNP by keeping its grand rally on October 28 at the center.

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An MP from Dhaka North, on condition of anonymity, told Prothom Alo that the General Secretary has clearly told him that if he wants to be nominated in the elections, he will have to show his strength on the streets. Those who show strength on the streets will be given nominations. Some MPs have been asked to bring 20 thousand people to the rally.

North and South city Awami League sources say that various preparations will be made in different wards before October 28. This may include party worker meetings, mass communication and extended meetings. Leaders and public representatives in four upazilas and surrounding areas of Dhaka have been asked to make similar preparations.

In this regard, Awami League organizing secretary in-charge of Dhaka division Mirza Azam told Prothom Alo that BNP has announced its program to topple the government. Awami League will not sit idle. They will also make complete preparations. He said, BNP does not have the capacity to topple the government, but their conspiracies to create unrest have to be kept an eye on. That is why Awami League is preparing.

October 28, then and now

An incident about 17 years ago makes October 28 a topic of discussion in Bangladesh politics. In 2006, October 28 was the last day of the BNP-Jamaat coalition government. That day, clashes broke out between the Awami League led 14 party alliance and Jamaat-e-Islami in Paltan. There were clashes, destruction of property and arson across the country that day. More than a dozen people lost their lives. Political circles believe that this was the incident that ultimately led to the formation of the 1/11 caretaker government.

This year, the opposition BNP and its allies have announced a grand rally and other programs in Dhaka on October 28. Awami League has come up with its counter programme. Political circles fear violence again.

Awami League leaders are sick of seeing a repeat of 2006. That is why they have decided to ensure that Dhaka remains under their control by any means. They feel that they have managed to rule the country for 15 years without any worries because they have maintained control over the streets of Dhaka.

Desperate to maintain its hold on Dhaka, the Awami League on Wednesday gave the responsibility to its two leaders. Party presidium member Jahangir Kabir Nanak has been made in-charge of coordination of Dhaka City North Awami League. The charge of the South has been handed over to Mofazzel Hussain Chaudhary Maya.

Awami League sources say the party wants to use the experience of these two leaders to maintain control over Dhaka before the elections and ensure large crowds at party events.

Speaking to Prothom Alo, Awami League presidium member Qazi Zafarullah said, if BNP’s grand rally is a preparation for the elections, then it is good. But if they have some other plan, it won’t work. “The BNP has repeatedly shouted ‘the wolf is coming’. Let’s see what actually happens.”

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