Bangladesh Nationalist Party delegation seeks to meet president

Dhaka, Jan 2 (IANS) A Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) delegation Thursday sought an appointment with President Abdul Hamid to seek his intervention in resolving the issue of party chairperson Khaleda Zia’s “confinement” to her residence here.

The team, which has already met Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury Thursday morning, wants to meet the president. The eight-member delegation has sought an appointment to meet him, opposition chief whip Zainul Abdin Farroque said after the meeting with the speaker, The Daily Star reported.
The time and date of the meeting, however, could not be immediately known.
During the meeting with the speaker, the delegation submitted a memorandum and sought Chaudhury’s intervention in resolving the ongoing issue focussing on the virtual “confinement” of Zia at her residence in the capital.
During the 10-minute meeting, the speaker assured the opposition delegation of taking steps in this regard, Farroque said.
The BNP leaders claimed that Zia remained cordoned off in her house since Dec 26 evening after declaring the ‘March for Democracy’ programme of the combined opposition.
Now, people want to know from the government whether she has been arrested or put under house arrest, Farroque said.
“We want to know through you (speaker) why the government has confined Zia and withdrawn her security protocol,” he asked.
The BNP leaders were not allowed to meet Zia, who has also been barred from even going to the party’s office, he claimed.
Ignoring the opposition’s demand for cancellation of the Jan 5 poll schedule, the government was determined to hold the parliamentary elections and showing its power through the joint forces, Farroque added.
The main opposition party called Dec 29 a non-stop blockade of rail, roads and waterways from Jan 1 to oppose what it called the one-sided Jan 5 elections.
Deepening the political impasse, the ruling Awami League, on the other hand, insisted that the general election must be held Jan 5, and then it could sit with the BNP to decide on the next course of action.