DHAKA, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Bangladesh's main opposition on Friday called a nationwide 48-hour strike form Saturday morning demanding cancellation of Jan. 5 general elections.
Osman Faruq, a spokesperson for Bangladesh Nationalist Party ( BNP), announced the strike at a press briefing, saying the strike is also aimed at protesting confinement of the party chief Khaleda Zia.
Faruq dismissed the elections as a "farce" to ensure the continuation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government and urged people to refrain from casting ballots.
The ongoing nationwide blockade of rail, roads and waterways will continue alongside the shutdown, he added.
The opposition alliance had earlier enforced blockade for a total of 22 days since Nov. 26 last year after the Election Commission announced schedule for the 10th parliamentary polls.
BNP and its 17 allies including Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami party urged Hasina to bring back a non-party caretaker system to ensure free and fair polls.
Some 21 opposition parties including BNP are boycotting the elections over Hasina's refusal to introduce a non-party interim government to oversee the elections.
Tens of thousands of troops have been deployed across the country as part of beefed up security measures to rein in poll- related violence.
The European Union, the Commonwealth and the United States have not dispatched poll observers to the country.