Largest opposition party – BNP [Bangladesh Nationalist Party] has called off its prescheduled day-long general strike [hartal] on March 29 as on that day, the Hindu religious group will observe Punna Snan [Holy Dip] festival. In the political history of the country, Bangladesh Nationalist Party has been trying to abort the culture of hartal [general strike], and it has utilized other political options such as road marches, laying siege and mass rallies with maximum effect and success. Hundreds and thousands of people gathered in Dhaka during March 12 program of Bangladesh Nationalist Party, which greatly shivered the ruling party. The ruling party applied numerous repressive tactics to spoil the March 12 peaceful rally of the opposition party and enforced their in-house hooligans with the help of law enforcing agencies, thus causing serious sufferings to the citizen of the country. Despite ruling party's frantic bid of sabotaging the opposition rally, hundreds and thousands of attended the rally, which was seen by a leading English language daily in Dhaka as "moral defeat" of Bangladesh Awami League. It may be mentioned here that, thousands of civilians were arrested en messe by law enforcing agencies, while the state minister of Law, advocate Kamrul Islam gave instigation to his party-men of applying "all out forces" against "each of the members of the opposition alliance". He even suggested the ruling party cadres to nab each of the opposition activists and hand over to police. On the other hand, some of the top leaders of the ruling party gave provocations to their party hoodlums in physically assaulting the opposition activists and supporters during the March 12 grand rally of Bangladesh Nationalist Party.
Business community in Bangladesh has already expressed satisfaction at BNP's decision of calling off the general strike and has hoped that the culture of practicing hartal in the name of democratic right should be totally abandoned by all of the political parties in the country. It may be mentioned here that the current ruling party in Bangladesh is labelled as champion of calling hartals, whenever they go into opposition.
While Bangladesh Nationalist Party has called off their March 29 general strike, there is clear sign of extreme fear within the ruling party as the main opposition and its alliance partners have declared June 12 as the deadline of re-installing the provision of holding future elections under a neutral caretaker government. Some of the heavyweights within the ruling party are expressing grave concern on the possible consequences on June 12, when the main opposition and its alliance partners are anticipated of adopting tougher strategies. Some even see June 12 as 'worst-ever hurdle' for the ruling party, which would be very difficult to overcome. Reason behind such fears of the ruling party elites is because of current governments series of failures in attending a large number of issues such as keeping the prices of essentials within buying capacity of the people; improving the law and order situation; resolving the existing crisis in the stock markets [where millions of small investors were visibly robbed-off by some influential business thugs]; failure is getting water sharing agreement signed with India; ruling party's blind pro-India policy [which in most cases are going against the interest of Bangladesh]; addressing the ever worsening power crisis [now even load-shedding are taking place during mid-nights and late nights] etc. When Bangladesh Awami League formed government on January 9 2009, it made specific pledges to the people of resolving the power crisis in the country within couple of years, while more than three years have already passed meanwhile and there is no good news at all showing minimal sign of improving the ever-worsening power crisis, which is greatly hampering country's agro-industries as well as manufacturing and industrial sectors. Foreign investors have already lost interest in Bangladesh due to severe power crisis. At least 78 percent of the industrial units in the country are forced to stop production 12-15 hours a day. It is feared that the power crisis will reach at the worst-ever level by the month of May this year. Keeping this huge crisis at focal point, country's intelligence agencies have already predicted mass upsurge in Bangladesh especially during end April to mid-June this year. They [the intelligence agencies] even fear Kansat type mass revolt [thousands of civilian at Kansat area in Bangladesh came on street in protest of power crisis during the rule of BNP-Jamaat coalition government in 2004.