An artificial famine – as seen after independence – is being created in the country by syndicates in the market involved in raising prices of essential goods, BNP Standing Committee member Mirza Abbas said on Tuesday (19 September).

"Prices of rice, pulses, sugar, and even eggs, potatoes and onions have increased. The commerce minister says it is due to a syndicate. When people demand to break up the syndicate, he said it cannot be done. The same situation happened after independence, which is still seen today," he said at a BNP rally in Jinjira, Keraniganj.

As part of BNP's 15-day programme demanding resignation of the government, the party held its first rally in Gazipur and Keraniganj today.

"Awami League ministers said if there is no syndicate, the political economy of this country will not work. I call on the people, in order to liberate this country, they [Awami League] cannot be allowed to stay in power," Abbas said.

The rally in Keraniganj was presided over by Dhaka District BNP President Khandkar Abu Ashfaq and hosted by BNP leader Nipun Roy Chowdhury.

Earlier, BNP announced new anti-government programmes for the next 15 days (19 Sep-3 Oct), demanding the resignation of the government, dissolution of parliament, reinstatement of a caretaker government system and the release of party Chief Khaleda Zia.

Some 11 more mass rallies will be held in the capital, including eight at the entrances of the city. Besides, five road marches will be held at the district and divisional levels outside of Dhaka.

The party has also scheduled similar rallies in Jatrabari and Uttara on 22 September, in Naya Bazar and Amin Bazar on 25 September, and in Gabtoli and Narayanganj on 27 September.

 Dhaka District BNP President Khandaker Abu Ashfaq and General Secretary Advocate Nipun Roy Chowdhury, Dhaka Metropolitan South BNP Convenor and Advisor to BNP Chairperson Md. Abdus Salam were present on the occasion.