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Dhaka Tribune

Awami League to hold mammoth peace rally Wednesday

The ruling party aims to gather over 100,000 people at the rally, with the opposition party BNP arranging a program at Naya Paltan the same day

Update : 11 Jul 2023, 09:18 PM

The Awami League is set to hold a massive peace rally in front of the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque in the capital at 3pm on Wednesday.

The ruling party aims to gather over 100,000 people at the rally, with the opposition party BNP arranging a program at Naya Paltan the same day. Leaders of the Awami League's Dhaka North and South units have already held several meetings with thana, ward, and union level leaders to make the peace rally a success. 

Associate organizations of the Awami League have also been asked to participate in the peace rally.

Sheikh Bazlur Rahman, president of Dhaka North Awami League, told Dhaka Tribune: “We have instructed our units to come together and make this peace rally a mammoth rally. We believe at least 100,000 people will participate in it.”

Several Awami League central leaders said they are not countering the BNP's rally, but the ruling party has arranged programs on the same day as the BNP on almost every occasion since December.

Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader is expected to speak as the chief guest at today's peace rally.

The distance from the capital's Naya Paltan to the south gate of Baitul Mukarram Mosque is less than one and a half kilometres. Both rallies are scheduled to be held at almost the same time.

When asked about the possibility of chaos in the capital due to the rallies, Awami League Joint General Secretary and Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud said the announcement of the new one-phase movement by BNP is not very important.

“We will not allow anyone to create chaos among the people. The Awami League is a political party. We will also be on the street with political programs; we will stand by the people,” he added.

Several AL leaders told Dhaka Tribune the purpose of the peace rally is to exert pressure on the opposition and send the message that control of the streets is still in the hands of the Awami League. Another goal is to demonstrate to foreign diplomats that the Awami League remains popular and has massive public support in Bangladesh.

A delegation of six members of the European Union arrived in Dhaka on a two-week visit last Sunday. They will have discussions with the government, political parties, Election Commission, security officials, civil society and media till July 23.

When contacted, Awami League Joint Secretary Dr Hasan Mahmud said the party has nothing to show to foreigners.

“It is the BNP which wants to show its programs to foreigners instead of showing them to the people. Foreigners are sceptical of their strength, so they are trying to show some strength, which only reveals the bankruptcy of a political party,” he added.

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