Dr Kamal Hossain, the leader of the Jatiya Oikya Front opposition alliance, will skip a planned public meeting in Rajshahi due to a high fever. Dr Kamal “fell very ill overnight and is running a high fever”, Jatiya Oikya Front Media Coordinator Lutful Kabir Hamim told bdnews24.com by phone on Friday morning. “So he will not be able to attend today’s public meeting in Rajshahi. He is, however, keeping in close contact with the leadership.”
The Jatiya Oikya Front leaders have left Dhaka for the programme, Hamim said. “Many arrived in Rajshahi last night.”
The programme, to be held at the Rajshahi Madrasa Field, will press for the seven-point list of demands made by the Oikya Front.
Preparations for the event were underway at the madrasa field. Digital banners at the venue called for the release of Khaleda Zia from jail. Police have approved the Oikya Front rally at the venue on 12 conditions.
This is the fourth Oikya Front rally across the country after similar programmes in Sylhet, Chattogram and Dhaka.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir will be the chief speaker at the event. He and members of the BNP Standing Committee left for Rajshahi by plane at 10am.
Rajshahi Metropolitan BNP President Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul will host the event.
BNP leaders said that they expect a large gathering at the event.
Security in Rajshahi has been strengthened ahead of the rally. Police say they are prepared to tackle any unpleasantness.
Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda announced the schedule for the 11th national election on Thursday evening, setting Dec 23 as the voting date.
Prior to the election schedule, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sat with her political foes in a series of talks to iron out their differences, but they failed to reach a consensus.
The BNP had called for a road march to the Rajshahi rally after the opposition alliance failed to come to an agreement with the prime minister on its list of demands during talks. It later called off the march.
Mirza Fakhrul had called for the schedule announcement to be put off before the talks and said that the announcement had been made according to the wishes of the ruling Awami League.