Khaleda on way to Sylhet

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Staff Reporter:

BNP Chairperson Khaleda started her journey for Sylhet on Monday morning as a special court here is set to pronounce its verdict on Thursday in a graft case against her.

The BNP chairperson left her Gulshan residence for Sylhet by road around 9:15am.

Reaching Sylhet, she is scheduled to offer fateha at the shrines of Hazrat Shahjalal (R) and Hazrat Shah Paran (RA).

Talking to reporters before her journey, BNP Standing Committee Member Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury said their chairperson is going to Sylhet only to offer fateha at the shrines of the country’s two great saints.

Replying to a question, he said Khaleda is not going to launch her party’s next election campaign from Sylhet unlike the Prime Minister.

“The election will be held around one year later so there is no scope for beginning the election campaign now. How will she conduct the campaign since a level playing field is not yet created?” the BNP leader said.

Khasru alleged that the ruling party and its alliance partners have started their election campaign unilaterally without creating equal scope for all parties to do so.

Meanwhile, local BNP leaders on Sunday at a press conference at a hotel in Sylhet City alleged that police have started raiding the houses of their party men while the administration has asked them not to carry out any campaign through loudspeakers ahead of Khaleda’s visit.

They urged the local administration to cooperate with them to maintain a peaceful atmosphere during their party chief’s tour.

The BNP leaders said Khaleda is scheduled to go first to the mazar of Hazrat Shahjalal (RA) around 4pm while at the shrine of Hazrat Shah Paran (RA) around 4:30pm.

BNP insiders said Khaleda may return to Dhaka on Monday night.

Khaleda last visited Sylhet on October 4, 2013 and addressed a rally of BNP-led 20-party alliance there.

The Special Court-5 in Dhaka on Thursday fixed February 8 to deliver its verdict in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case filed against Khaleda and five others.

Khaleda will be disqualified for the next general election if she is convicted in the case.

On January 30, Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina launched her party’s campaign from Sylhet for the upcoming national election slated for December this year.

The Prime Minister offered fateha at the shrines of Hazrat Shahjalal (RA), Hazrat Shah Paran (RA) and Hazrat Gazi Borhan Uddin (RA) in the city.

Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad also formally launched his party’s election campaign from there.

He also offered fateha at the shrine of Hazrat Shah Paran in the afternoon and left Sylhet after holding a meeting with local party leaders at the circuit house.

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