Political parties are now busy forging alliances to show their strength ahead of the next national election.
The parties outside the ruling Awami League-led and BNP-led alliances, are working to form new combines, sources of different parties said.
They include Jatiya Party (Ershad faction) and several Islamic and leftist parties.
Internal discussion and bargaining are now going on among the top leadership of various political parties in this regard, they added.
The Awami League is eager to expand its 14-party alliance through inclusion of some other parties while a number of parties are pursuing the AL leadership to find a place in the alliance.
The AL has taken a move to include Islamic parties in the alliance to increase the strength of the combine and woo the religious-minded voters ahead of the general elections scheduled to be held between 2018 and 2019, sources said.
Awami League’s Religious Affairs Secretary Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, who is assigned by the party high command to bring Islamic parties to the alliance, told the daily sun: “We’re maintaining liaison with some Islamist parties and they may join our 14-party alliance.”
Opposition BNP also wants to include some other political parties in their 20-party alliance ahead of the next election to enhance their strength what is why the party is maintaining regular contact with a number of Islamist and progressive political parties.
Several leaders of the party said they are trying to include more political parties in their alliance.
Talking to the daily sun, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said, “Our alliance is open for all. Any political party can join the alliance.”
A new political combine, namely United National Alliance was launched in May this year under the leadership of Jatiya Party (Ershad) targeting the next national election.
Jatiya Party chairman HM Ershad announced the political alliance of 58 parties.Ershad said their alliance comprises two political parties —JP (Ershad) and Bangladesh Islami Front led by MA Mannan and components of two alliances — Jatiya Islami Mahajote led by Abu Naser Wahed Faruk and Bangladesh National Alliance (BNA) led by Sekender Ali Moni.
Leftist political parties are also going to form an alternative political force of leftist democratic forces in the country’s politics.
Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), Socialist Party of Bangladesh (BSD) and Democratic Left Alliance in a joint meeting on July 15 had taken decision to emerge as an alternative political force in politics.
Saiful Huq, general secretary of Revolutionary Workers Party of Bangladesh said, “Gradually we’ll try to increase understanding among us through united movement. At one stage, we can form an election alliance or a united front along with all other progressive parties.”
Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD-Rab), Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh, Nagorik Oikya, Gono Forum and Krishak Sramik Janata League also want to form a separate alliance or ‘alternative’ political platform ahead of the next polls.
JSD president ASM Abdur Rab hosted a dinner party recently for leaders of the political parties and civil society representatives where they discussed the possibilities of forming a third political force.
Asked about their initiative for forming a new political platform, Mahmudur Rahman Manna said, “Efforts are going on. We are talking among ourselves about the initiative to form the platform of the five political parties.”
Different Islamic political parties and organisations are also trying to form a greater alliance as they want to play important role in the next polls.
Asked whether they are forming alliance of Islamic political parties ahead of the polls, Abdul Latif Nejami, chairman of a faction of Islami Oikya Jote, who left the BNP-led alliance said, “We are discussing to form an alliance.”
Sources said Islami Andolan, headed by Chormonai Peer, Zaker Party headed by the Atrashi Peer and Khalefat Andolan are still not a part of any alliance while there is an effort to form an alliance headed by Chormonai Peer.
Asked about formation of different political alliances ahead of the next election, Gyasuddin Molla, professor of Dhaka University and president of Rastrabigyan Samity, said, “Different political parties want to participate in polls with combined strength by forming an alliance.”
He said though public support to some political parties is not so much significant in view of voters, if the parties form alliance then it will be a pressure on them who will go to the power.
“If the political parties come forward to participate in election in such way then election will be fair, rigging possibility will decrease and democratic atmosphere will come back,” he opined.