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BNP defers demonstration against price hike for Janmashtami
Online Desk |:| Thu, 03 Sep'2015, 1:55 PM |:| Online Version
BNP defers demonstration against price hike for Janmashtami
Politics : The BNP has pushed back its demonstration against hike in prices of power and gas by a day as it coincides with Janmashtami. BNP Standing Committee Member Nazrul Islam Khan sent a statement to the media on Wednesday night announcing that the programme would instead be held on Sep 6. Earlier, the party sent a press release saying that the 20-Party Alliance it leads would hold protest programmes on Sep 5. The first announcement drew flak as it coincided with Janmashtami, a festival of the Hindus. Awami League MP Pankaj Nath demanded withdrawal of the programme in Parliament. “The birthday of Lord Sri Krishna…It’s a big festival for us...just as the Eid is for the Muslims. Announcing a programme on this day is as good as hurting the religious sentiment of the Hindus,” he said. He also questioned the issue the BNP was protesting over. Nath claimed the hike in prices of gas and power was ‘reasonable’ Later, BNP leader Khan issued the press release deferring the demonstration but assigned no reason. But Assistant Office Secretary Shamimur Rahman Shamim told the demonstration was re-fixed to Sep 6 for Janmashtami. On Aug 27, the government raised the average price of power by 2.93 percent and gas by 26.29 percent. The new prices have been in effect from Sep 1. The BNP protested against the hike saying the government took the decision to pass on to the people liabilities amounting to billions of taka piled up because of the quick rental power plants. It described the move as ‘anti-people’, ‘illegal’ and ‘illogical’. The statement also urged people to oppose the government move and warned, “or else, the government will hike gas prices again in December”. On Sunday, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia met coalition leaders and decided to demonstrate against the hike.

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