Huge preparation by both AL, BNP ahead of PM’s UK visit

Munzer A Chowdhury, London
Published : 20:09, Sep 14, 2018 | Updated : 20:18, Sep 14, 2018

Awami League and its associated bodies hold extended meeting and are preparing a massive arrangement to give reception to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.With the 11th parliamentary election nears, the UK units of ruling Awami League and its arch-rival BNP have prepared to show their power during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to London.
Leaders and activities of the UK AL are busy with arrangements to hold a reception to the premier while their rivals are preparing for demonstration.
PM Hasina will leave Dhaka on Sept 21 for New York to attend the 69th United Nations General Assembly. She will take a two-day break at the UK to spend time with her families in London and depart the city on Sept 23.
“The PM wishes to not travel more than six hours at a stretch. So, she will take a break in London to give time to her family,” AL UK unit President Sultan Mahmud Sharif told Bangla Tribune.
According to Sharif, they will only arrange a reception to the PM as she has no party programme this time there.
Citing PM visiting London for last time ahead of the next polls, AL UK unit General Secretary Jamal Ahmed said, “AL and its associated bodies held extended meeting and are preparing massive arrangement to give reception to the PM.”
Two of the AL UK unit leaders, who came to Bangladesh days ago, were set to fly for London Friday on the occasion of the reception.
“The PM is yet to confirm her hotel check-in. However, the AL leaders plan to receive her at the hotel lobby,” said Ahmed.
BNP activists stage anti-government protest in London. FILE PHOTOOn the other hand, leaders and activists of the BNP and its front bodies in the UK were busy with holding meetings one after another to take preparation for anti-government protest.
“BNP has taken preparation to stage maximum demonstration during the PM’s visit,” said Nasir Ahmed Shahin, UK unit president of BNP’s front body Jatiyatabadi Sechhasebok Dal.
The BNP UK unit is set to hold its last preparation meeting after its President MA Malek will arrive in London from Germany on Friday, Joint Secretary General Kamal Uddin told Bangla Tribune.
Leaders and activists of both AL and BNP UK units have been holding pro-and-anti-government demonstration back and forth over the one and half a decade.
In that case, the anti-government protesters often take agenda that include throwing eggs, water bottle and sometimes even shoes toward the PM motorcade.
Whether BNP would include agenda like thrown egg on the PM motorcade or not, BNP International Affairs Secretary Mahidur Rahman said, “People, who protest the government, are being disappeared in Bangladesh. The scenario is not same here.”
“People (in Bangladesh) have found themselves with their backs against the wall. So, the expatriates demonstrate where the PM goes,” Rahman said before adding “AL first launched the anti-government protest during the BNP’s rule.”
On April 18 this year, a group of BNP activists allegedly attacked Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports Arif Khan Joy in front of the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in the London’s Westminster.Speaking on BNP’s protest agenda, AL’s Sultan Sharif said, “Indecent, impolite and rude behaviours are not as same as staging demonstration.”
“If they have any demands to the PM they can put forward those in a decent manner to her,” he said.
Sulatn Sharif claimed to have been involved in the AL UK unit over 40 years and never show indecent manner in the name of politics.
On April 18 this year, a group of BNP activists allegedly attacked Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports Arif Khan Joy in front of the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in the London’s Westminster.
Khan was with the entourage of PM Hasina, who went to London to attend the 25th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.