Low turnout in contrast to much hyped pledges of pulling unprecedented turnout and a grisly spate of infighting, caused from internal feud among rally goers triggered a fresh spell of criticisms on part of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) cantering the rally ended in Rajshahi on Saturday.
Fresh drone footage, as reported by media outlets, captured from BNP’s rally in Rajshahi, has served a blow to BNP’s well publicised claim of unprecedented turnout in Rajshahi.
Users in social media including Facebook referred to drone footages and top shots of the field well exposing large empty places in the ground, even when top BNP leader Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir was addressing the crowd.
Several television channels used drone footage that showed that half of the rare part of the field wore a deserted look even when party leaders appeared on the stage.
Meanwhile, footage of wielding with sticks, supporters, loyal to different political leaders, locked in a clash, only to be later dissolved at intervention of senior leaders drew ire from netizens.
Some televising channels also carried reports with interviews from survivors in the Rajshahi region who endured brutal torture at the hands of dreaded late militant Bangla bhai, who rose reportedly under BNP’s patronage during the last rule between 2001 and 2006.
Citing earlier media reports of how “such rabidly anti- west elements like Bangla bhai rose to power and enjoyed direct backing from top BNP leaders from the Rajshahi region”.
Even “involvement of Tarique Rahman with militants, who now is a fugitive convict and runs the party from London, also appeared in US cable, later leaked by WIKILEAKES.
Moreover, inclusion of Tarique Rahman’s photo on media cards for journalists backfired, leading the party to allow journos on the basis of official cards.
A number of national television channels aired live footage during the rally showing empty places and scattered crowds, a clear sign that belies the party’s claim of drawing hundreds of thousands supporters, let alone common folks.
In reality, such footage is testament to the party’s decaying support base across the country, a testament that explains the party’s reluctance to join any polls.
Rickshaw pullers to day labourers and CNG drivers were given money to appear in recent rallies but these people later protested against party leaders as they did not receive the amount promised by BNP leaders, exposed in a separate report
Like this latest rally, other rallies in several divisions also marked with lower turnout, further exposing how miserably the party failed to garner public support behind its calls.