An indefinite transport strike is underway in all eight districts of Rajshahi division, ahead of BNP rally to be held in the city on Saturday (December 3).
Rajshahi Transport Owners Association started their strike at 6am on Thursday (December 1).
Long-route buses have not left or entered Rajshahi from the other districts of the country, including capital Dhaka, since this morning.
According to the Rajshahi Divisional Transport Owners Association, they have called the strike to press home our 10-point demands.
The association gave the government an ultimatum to scrap the Road Transport Act 2018 and ban the movement of illegal three-wheelers and battery-driven auto-rickshaws on highways by 30 November.
As the demands were not met and they have called for an indefinite transport strike starting from 6am today.
However, BNP leaders have alleged that the transport strike is a strategy of the government to create obstacles in the political party's rally.
Ruhul Quddus Talukder Dulu, an organising secretary of BNP and coordinator of the mass rally committee, alleged that the strike was called to refrain the leaders and activists from joining the event.
But the rally would be organised successfully at any cost, he added.
However, Rajshahi Divisional Transport Owners Association joint secretary denied such claims and said that the strike has no links with the BNP rally scheduled for next week.
Meanwhile, due to the strike, passengers going to and from Rajshahi have been facing hardship.
Three-wheelers and other light vehicles are charging more than the usual fare and making multiple trips as there were no buses operating on the route.
On September 27, BNP announced a series of public rallies in 10 divisional cities to protest the price hike of daily essentials and fuels, the death of five party men in previous police action, and to ensure the freedom of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.
BNP has already arranged rallies in Chattogram, Mymensingh, Khulna, Rangpur, Barishal, Faridpur, Sylhet and Cumilla.
The party will conclude the divisional rallies through a mass gathering in Dhaka city on 10 December.
BDST: 1301 HRS, DEC 01, 2022