Fakhrul alleges government has destroyed all democratic institutions to hang onto power
Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has alleged that the government has destroyed the leather industry after that of jute in a planned way to make the country dependent on others.
"We earn foreign currency through the leather industry, as a huge number of rawhides are collected after every Eid-ul-Azha, but the government has destroyed it in a planned way. They did so in the past, too," said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Friday.
Speaking at a doa mahfil, he further said: "The government has made good progress in making Bangladesh a subservient country as part of its far-reaching plot. They (government) are not only repressing people, but also playing a huge role in turning the country into a dependent one."
BNP arranged the program on the ground floor of its Naya Paltan central office in Dhaka, marking the 74th birth anniversary of party's jailed Chairperson Khaleda Zia.
Party leaders and activists joined the program and prayed for Khaleda's long life and early recovery from illness.
Recalling the party chairperson's contributions to the socio-economic development of the country, Fakhrul bemoaned that the government has kept her in jail deliberately to cripple the country and its economy.
He alleged that the government has destroyed all democratic institutions to hang onto power. "The judiciary has been harmed badly as it has completely lost its independence."
Branding the government as an "unelected and fascist”, the BNP leader said it is now oppressing political and democratic activists by establishing its "control" over the judiciary.
Fakhrul regretted that their party still could not free their ailing chairperson through a strong movement.
He urged BNP leaders and activists to get united and organized to release their chairperson from jail through street agitations. "We have no other alternative to intensifying the movement to free her."
Later, a munajat was offered seeking the wellbeing of Khaleda and her long life.
BNP Standing Committee members Moudud Ahmed, Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, Nazrul Islam Khan, Selima Rahman, Vice Chairmen Shamsuzzaman Dudu, AZM Jahid Hossain, Netai Roy Chowdhury, Shawkat Mahmud, and Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi among others were present.
Khaleda has been in the Old Dhaka Central Jail since her conviction in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case by a lower court on February 8, 2018. The BNP chief was shifted to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University on April 1 this year for treatment and she has been staying there since.
Her party said she turned 75 on Thursday, though there is controversy over her actual birth date and year.
As in the previous three years, BNP had no program of cutting any cake to celebrate the birthday.
Amid criticism by Awami League leaders for celebrating her birthday on the National Mourning Day, BNP marked her 72nd and 73rd and 74th birthdays by holding doa mahfil instead of cutting cake.