Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ershad to kick up Teesta storm

Jatiya Party (JP) chief Hussein Muhammad Ershad, a key ally of the ruling coalition government, On Wednesday said he would raise a "storm of demonstrations" with his party's ongoing Teesta long march protests unless Bangladesh gets equitable share of Teesta water.

"The government failed to sign the Teesta agreement though the Teesta Barrage was inaugurated on Aug 5, 1990. We will raise a storm of demonstrations through this (Teesta long march) programme," Ershad said on the second day of the protest march.

"We want fair share of Teesta water," he said before starting the day's march from near Rangpur Zila School around 11.45am.

Emphasising that the Teesta long march is meant for, and represents, each Bangladeshi, the deposed military dictator hoped that all political parties and the people would support it. "Let our protesting voice reach India," Ershad said as a clarion call.

He is set to address some street rallies and a public rally at the Teesta Barrage helipad ground around 3pm.

Ershad had earlier said at a street rally in Elenga, Tangail, that announcement of his party's decision to quit the coalition would come in "due time". Replying to a journalist's query on the issue, he said, "Leave it to me, I will make the announcement in due time."

The long march towards Teesta Barrage started from the party's Banani headquarters at 9am on Tuesday to press home the party's demand for fair share of Teesta water from India.

The Jatiya Party chief addressed 15 street rallies on the first day of the long march.

The march from Dhaka started with around 2,000 vehicles, and another 2,000 vehicles joined the motorcade from Rangpur on Wednesday.

Ershad will stay the night at his own home -- 'Palli Nibash' -- after a street rally in Mithapukur.

He had earlier led the Tipaimukh long march on Dec 10-11, protesting India's decision to build a dam on Barak river.