Vol. 5 Num 926 Sat. January 06, 2007  
Front Page

Grand alliance demonstrates, vows to resist Jan 22 polls

The Awami League (AL)-led grand electoral alliance during their countrywide demonstrations yesterday vowed to build all out resistance against holding the January 22 polls and asked President Iajuddin Ahmed to quit the office of the chief adviser to the caretaker government for holding a fair election.

The grand alliance organised the demonstrations to press home their demands for holding a free and fair election, which also include preparation of an accurate voter roll, reconstitution of the Election Commission (EC), changing the polls schedule and depoliticising the administration.

The AL also held meetings with the presidents and general secretaries of the party committees of the districts adjacent to the capital and all of its front organisations to make the countrywide blockade programmes for January 7 and 8 a complete success.

AL President Sheikh Hasina also held meetings with two front organisations of the AL while leaders of the grand alliance held another meeting at AL-led 14-party coordinator Abdul Jalil's Gulshan residence last night.

Talking to The Daily Star AL Joint General Secretary Obaidul Quader said they would enforce a non-stop blockade around the Bangabhaban if their demands for a free and fair election remain unmet even after the countrywide blockade for January 7 and 8.

Addressing rallies in different parts of the country, the grand alliance leaders also asked the council of advisers to quit Iajuddin-led caretaker government for their 'failure' to create a congenial atmosphere for holding an acceptable election.

"Any election in the country will have to be held only after resignation of Iajuddin from the post of chief adviser and preparation of a proper voter roll. If there is any move to hold a farcical election on January 22, we will resist it," said 14-party coordinator and AL General Secretary Abdul Jalil at a rally on the Bangabandhu Avenue in the capital.

Addressing the rally, AL presidium members Amir Hossain Amu and Suranjit Sengupta asked all the advisers to the CG to follow the path of the four advisers who earlier resigned protesting chief adviser's unilateral decisions and activities to uphold their dignity. Amu also asked all officials related to election not to engage themselves with an 'illegal' election-related job.

Presidium Member Tofail Ahmed said the caretaker government wants to use the army against people through their deployment in an election where no political parties except the BNP-Jamaat coalition will participate.

As part of the countrywide demonstrations, the 14-party alliance held rallies in Rajshahi, Rangpur, Barisal, Khulna, Chittagong, Sylhet and other districts.

At a briefing at AL's central office on Bangabandhu Avenue, the 14-party alliance termed BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's press conference speech as 'false, misleading and self-contradictory'.

Through the speech of Khaleda, Iajuddin's mask has been unveiled and it is apparent that he [Iajuddin] follows Khaleda's directions, Abdul Jalil said at the briefing.

A number of political parties including Jatiya Party (Ershad), Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), Zaker Party, Bangladesh Shamajtantrik Dal (BSD) also staged simultaneous demonstrations in the capital as well as other parts in the country to resist the January 22 polls with demands of resignation of President Iajuddin from the office of the chief adviser.

Grand Alliance coordinator Abdul Jalil (inset) addressing a rally at Bangabandhu Avenue in the capital yesterday as part of their countrywide demonstrations for free and fair polls. PHOTO: STAR