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Monday, October 27, 2003

Compiled by SDNP

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AL, CPB rally demanding lid on prices

The main opposition Awami League (AL) and the Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) staged separate demonstrations in Dhaka yesterday in protest against price spiral of essentials.

The demonstrators demanded immediate reduction in the prices in view of people's plight in the holy month of Ramadan and pegged the government attempt to check the prices as 'not enough'.

The AL used a its 'protest day' rally in front of the party central office on Bangabandhu Avenue to call on the government to put a lid on shooting prices, or step down.

The government, which has no control on prices of bare necessities, has no right to cling to power anymore, one of the speakers said.

The AL leaders claimed that the BNP-Jamaat coalition totally failed to govern the country and every sector bore evidence of ruin.

The opposition leaders took a swipe at the commerce minister, saying he completely failed to perform his duties and asked him to resign taking the responsibility of failure.

Linking a 'slide in law and order' with 'skyrocketing prices', they said businesspeople were under the choking grip of extortionists 'harboured by the ruling alliance'.

Frontline AL leaders accused the government of raising the prices of essentials artificially to make brisk money during Ramadan.

Duty on onion has been waived in the interest of pro-government businesspeople, they alleged, adding they were making quick money selling the product at higher prices.

Presided over by Omar Ali, the rally was addressed by frontline leaders Abdus Samad Azad, Suranjit Sengupta, Amir Hossain Amu, Motia Chowdhury, Mohammad Nasim, Obaidul Kader, Abdul Mannan and Dr Mostafa Jalal Mohiuddin, among others.

The rally over, the AL brought out a procession that ended at party office after parading through Bangabandhu Avenue and Noor Hossain Square.

The CPB rally at Muktangon in Purana Paltan lashed out at the government for what they termed allowing its people make brisk money creating a sham crisis in the market on the eve of the Ramadan and for its failure to control prices.

Ruhin Hossain Prince, Mohiuddin Ahmed and Mahbub Alam addressed the rally.

The CPB also brought out a procession that paraded through some city streets chanting slogans against the government. Sylhet Division Development Action Committee formed a human chain near Muktangon to protest price hike of essentials.

In a statement yesterday, Rashed Khan Menon, coordinator of left-leaning 11 parties and president of the Workers' Party of Bangladesh, said some businesspeople in collusion with the government increased prices of essentials for making hefty profits. Momtaj Uddin and Abul Khaer Sajjad, leaders of Jatiya Samajtantrik Jote, also demanded a lid on prices of essentials.

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