The BNP on Sunday paid homage to its founder Ziaur Rahman marking its 41st founding anniversary.
Party leaders and activists, led by Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, placed the wreaths at Zia’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar grave around 10:15am and offered fateha there.
They also joined a special prayer (munajat) seeking salvation for Zia’s departed soul and good health of party Chairperson Khaleda Zia.
BNP Standing Committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Moudud Ahmed, Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan, Nazrul Islam Khan, Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury, Vice-Chairmen Shahjahan Omar, Ahmed Azam Khan and AZM Zahid Hossain, Chairperson’s Adviser Zainul Abedin Farroque, joint secretaries general Mahbubuddin Khokon, Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal, Habibun Nabi Khan Sohel, and Khairul Kabir Khokon were, among others, present.
Talking to reporters after placing wreaths, Fakhrul said they have taken a vow on this day to ‘restore’ democracy and free Khaleda Zia from jail.
He said they will intensify their movement demanding the release of Khaleda and holding a fresh national election under a non-party administration.
Leaders and activists of different units and associate bodies of the party also laid wreaths at the late president’s grave. BNP and its associate bodies are celebrating the founding anniversary with various programmes across the country.
To mark the day, the party flag was kept hoisted atop the buildings of the BNP’s Nayapaltan central office and other offices across the country in the morning.
BNP is scheduled to arrange a discussion at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh in the afternoon.
The party will bring out colourful rallies all over the country, including in the capital on Monday, celebrating the anniversary.
Ziaur Rahman founded the party on September 1, 1978 with a 19-point programme to build a self-reliant Bangladesh. After his assassination on May 30, 1981, his widow Khaleda took over the party leadership.
BNP is celebrating its founding anniversary without Chairperson Khaleda for the second consecutive year as she has been in jail since February 8, 2018, after a lower court convicted her in a graft case.
The party had been in power for four times and played the role of opposition twice.
It has been out of power for over 12 years since the 1/11 political changeover in 2007.