Awami League (AL)-led 14-party combine observes countrywide dawn-to-dusk hartal today (Sunday), report agencies.
The combined opposition on April 19 called for the hartal protesting the police attack on their Wednesday's sit-in demonstration around the Prime Minister's Office and to press the government for accepting their electoral reform proposal.
AL Joint Secretary Obaidul Kader, on behalf of Leader of the Opposition Sheikh Hasina, urged the people of all strata for their spontaneous support to make the hartal programme a success.
Meanwhile, the 14-party opposition combine led by the Awami League announced a fresh plan of 'Dhaka Siege' on May 21 to force the government to concede to their electoral reform proposals aimed at free and fair elections.
As part of warming-up actions, the opposition will also lay siege to electricity offices across the country on April 30 to press for steady supply of power, resolving a nagging problem of power outages.
"The government will be forced to stand down through Dhaka Siege programme," Awami League Presidium Member Abdur Razzak MP told reporters while announcing the new action plans.
Razzak, who chaired the 14-party combine meeting at the AL central office Saturday evening, said the government would be held responsible for any situation out of any police action on the opposition members during today's (Sunday's) countrywide hartal.
The Awami League also announced countrywide fresh agitation programmes over the issues of reform proposals, price hike of essentials, power crisis, repression on journalists and opposition leaders and activists.
Awami League (AL) Joint General Secretary Obaidul Kader announced the programmes after its presidium meeting, the highest policy-making body of AL, held at the party's Dhanmondi office Saturday.
According to the programmes, the party will hold rallies at upazila and district headquarters on April 30 demanding uninterrupted power supply in the country and stage demonstrations on May 7 protesting price spirals.
It will also organise labour rally at Mirpur in the city on May 1 on the occasion of International Labour Day. Leader of the Opposition and AL President Sheikh Hasina will address the rally.
The meeting further reviewed the latest social and political situation of the country with AL President Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
The meeting decided to wage a movement on the streets and in the Jatiya Sangsad (JS) simultaneously to force the government to implement its demands including the demands of reforms in the Election Commission (EC) and caretaker government system.
The meeting strongly protested and condemned the attack on women workers of Juba League during hartal hours and on journalists at Chittagong Divisional Stadium during Bangladesh-Australia test match.
An apprehension was aired by the main opposition party that there could now be attacks on the leaders and activists of AL and on the Sudha Sadan residence of Hasina.
Obaidul Kader warned that if any attack occurred, "The residence of Khaleda Zia at Moinul Road could not be protected".
The meeting also demanded immediate reduction in price of essentials, stopping police torture and implementation of their proposals for election reforms.
Kader, however, asserted that even if election were held at this moment, "security money of many BNP ministers would be forfeited".
He observed that as BNP does not want fair election, it does not want reforms.
The opposition party alleged that the alliance government was pushing the country towards a confrontational situation.
The presidium meeting also advised the government to take lessons from the political events of Nepal.
Among others, AL Presidium member Zohra Tajuddin, Jillur Rahman MP, Abdur Razzak MP, Tofail Ahmed, Suranjit Sengupta MP, Motia Chowdhury, Sheikh Selim MP, Ataur Rahman Khan Kaisar, Kazi Zafarullah MP and Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir attended the meeting.