Leftist alliance threatens to besiege PMO over jute-mill closure

  • Staff Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2020-09-27 15:03:36 BdST

The Left Democratic Alliance, a coalition of eight leftist parties, has announced plans to besiege the prime minister’s office on Oct 5 in protest against the shutdown of state-owned jute mills.

Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal or BaSaD leader Bazlur Rashid Feroz, coordinator of the LDA, made the announcement during a protest programme outside the Secretariat on Sunday.

Earlier on Sunday, the protesters demonstrated outside the National Press Club and were on their way to the jute ministry when the police intervened at Zero Point.

Leaders of the alliance called on the government to reopen the state-owned jute mills after modernising the factories instead of operating them under a public-private partnership model.

They also urged the authorities to put an end to the corruption roiling the jute sector while imposing a minimum wage structure at all government and private factories.

The LDA will stage a blockade outside the PMO unless the demands are met, warned Bazlur.

The alliance has already staged protests outside the deputy commissioners’ offices in different districts, he said.

The government announced plans to shut down production at all 26 state-owned jute mills in July and switch to a public-private partnership model in a bid to modernise the flagging sector.

The decision aroused widespread concern as it meant about 25,000 workers would be sent into an early retirement in a precarious economic climate induced by the coronavirus pandemic.