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Bangladesh's main opposition shuns ally Jamaat
Publication Date : 15-02-2013
Bangladesh's main opposition, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), on Thursday decided to shun its main ally Jamaat-e-Islami and hold a rally in Dhaka on February 17 demanding restoration of the caretaker government system.
The rally was originally scheduled to be held on February 9, in front of its Naya Paltan central office under the banner of the BNP-led 18-party alliance, of which Jamaat is a key component.
In the face of the ongoing mass agitation against Jamaat at Shahbagh's 'Projonmo Chattar', the main opposition felt it safer to disassociate itself with Jamaat, according to party insiders.
A group of senior leaders including BNP's Dhaka city unit Convener Sadeque Hosain Khoka told the party's chairperson Khaleda Zia that it would give a bad impression if Jamaat leaders addressed the rally.
The party is in a 'great dilemma' following the historic ongoing movement across the country demanding a ban on Jamaat-Shibir politics, said a top policy-maker of BNP, wishing not to be named.
Earlier on February 7, the alliance made the decision to hold a rally on February 9 at its secretary general-level meeting.
However, the decision was postponed after a group of bloggers and activists started demonstrations at the Shahbagh intersection.
Talking to reporters on the following day, BNP Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi Ahmed blamed the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) for not giving them permission to hold the rally, blame which was refuted by Mehedi Hassan, additional deputy commissioner of the Motijheel Zone.
Hasan claimed that DMP had not put any obstruction on the BNP-led alliance's rally in front of the party's central office.