The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party on Friday said that ruling Awami League turned pale with fear.

‘You will see on television, there is no smile like before. Those who have built house abroad are trying to save it,’ BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said at a brief rally in Dhaka before starting a mass procession.

The BNP and most of the other opposition parties on the day brought out mass processions in major cities across the country demanding resignation of the ruling Awami League handing over the power to an impartial election-time administration.

The BNP will hold road marches across the country today demanding immediate release of Khaleda Zia. 

Alleging that the Awami League has robbed and destroyed Bangladesh, Fakhrul said that the AL made the country empty and there was nothing left.

‘Another new place has emerged — pension scheme. Another trick has been invented to steal people’s money. They want to steal that money ahead of election. People will not let it happen this time,’ he said.

‘AL leaders have turned pale with fear in the face of movement and the visa policy introduced by the United States. They realise the visa policy will be applied on those who have earned money illegally, who will obstruct fair elections,’ Fakhrul said.

He said that the people who built houses abroad were now busy to find a way to save their property abroad.

‘Now the people of the United States, their various organisations, human rights organisations have started telling their government institutions to have a hearing on Bangladesh. They have said that opposition parties are being persecuted, tortured, arrested and killed. The government is obstructing the fair elections. They urged the US govt to impose sanction on the govt again,’ Fakhrul said.

Alleging that the Awami League has destroyed all achievements of the nation, Fakhrul said that 20 people shed their blood in the streets in one year during the movement against the ‘fascist Awami League’.

‘Will we let their blood go in vain? Will we let their mother’s cries, wife’s cries, children’s cries go in vain? The illegal government of the Awami League says that the election will be held as par constitution. Which constitution? You have torn the constitution.’ Fakhrul said.

‘The fact that they are in power by force,’ he said, adding that today the entire country now turned into a prison.

‘It seems like a prison. They have imprisoned hundreds of our friends. When a government detains so many people? They detain when they are scared,’ said the BNP leader.

Several thousand of BNP leaders and activists joined the mass procession organised by the Dhaka south city BNP. The procession ended at Khilgaon crossing.

The Dhaka north city BNP also organised a mass procession from Gulshan-1 and the procession ended at Mohakhali bus terminal.

Outside Dhaka, the BNP also organised mass processions in Gazipur, Narayanganj, Faridpur, Barishal, Khulna, Rajshahi, Cumilla, Chattogram, Rajshahi, Mymenshingh and Rangpur cities.

Alongside the BNP, the Ganatantra Mancha, the 12-Party Alliance, the Jatiyatabadi Samamana Jote, the Liberal Democratic Party, the Gono Forum and the People’s Party jointly, Reza Kibria Kibria-led Gana Odhikar Parishad, Nurul Haque Nur-led Gana Odhikar Parishad, the Nationalist Democratic Movement, the Four-Party Democratic Left Alliance, the Bangladesh Labour Party, Samamana Ganatantrik Peshajibi Jote, and the Bangladesh Sadharan Chatra Odhikar Sangrakhan Parishad also brought out mass processions in Dhaka city as part of the simultaneous movement.

The AB Party also held a separate mass procession in the city.