The BNP-led opposition alliance is in a sorry state, as a number of components of the 20-party combine split from it following internal conflicts.
The split in the 20-party combine has annoyed the party top leaders as the alliance is gradually becoming smaller, BNP sources said.
The BNP expanded the four-party alliance to an 18-party combine in 2012.
It was further expanded to a 20-party alliance to show the range of support in favour of it and to mount psychological pressure on the ruling Awami League.
At least seven political parties which were components of the 20-party alliance already split from the combine over different issues.
However, following directives from the BNP high command, factions of several parties have been included in the alliance to keep the number of components intact, party sources said.
Eleven out of 20 alliance partners are registered with the Election Commission, while some components do not even have their party offices and many of the parties do not have district committees, the sources added.
Bangladesh Labour Party, a component of the 20-party alliance, was not invited to the meeting of the alliance held recently with BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia in the chair as the Labour Party split from the alliance over internal conflict in November this year.
Labour Party chairman Muatafizur Rahman Iran is leading a faction of the party while Emdadul Haque Chowdhury is leading another faction.
“We have expelled Mustafizur Rahman Iran from the party and Emdadul Haque Chowdhury is now acting chairman,” Hamdullah Al Mehedi, secretary general of a faction of the party, told the daily sun.
Earlier, Bangladesh Labour Party split from the alliance while a faction led by Sekandar Ali Moni quit the combine.
Islami Oikya Jote, another component of the alliance, split from the 20-party combine while a faction led by the party’s chairman Abdul Latif Nezami quit the coalition in 2016. A faction of the party headed by Abdur Rakib is now with the 20-party alliance declaring himself as the party chief.
National People’s Party (NPP) led by late Sheikh Showkat Hossain Nilu, former chairman of the party, had quit the alliance while another faction of the party led by its current chairman Fariduzzaman Farhad is now in the BNP-led alliance.
National Democratic Party (NDP) led by its current chairman Khandaker Golam Martuza is now in the 20-party alliance while its secretary general Alamgir Majumdar quit the alliance.
NAP-Bhasani also left the alliance, but soon a new faction led by Azharul Islam remains as a component of the BNP-led coalition.
The Muslim League is also split into two factions – one led by Kamruzzaman Khan which is now in the 20-party alliance, and the other faction of the party led by Jobaida Quader Chowdhury, elder sister of Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury, is outside the coalition.
Sources said disappointment over BNP’s failure in the last year’s anti-government movement, frustration over the ongoing movement and BNP’s neglecting attitude towards small partners of the 20-party alliance have led to the split in the platform.
Most of the partners of BNP-led 20-party alliance are basically one-man organisations existing only on papers while some factions of different political parties have joined the BNP-led alliance, the coalition sources said.
After being sacked by HM Ershad from Jatiya Party (JP), Kazi Zafar Ahmed formed a faction under the same name and joined the BNP-led alliance after the January 5, 2014 general election. TIM Fazle Rabbi Chowdhury is now acting chairman of the JP faction.
A faction of Samyabadi Dal led by its general secretary Sayeed Ahmed is a component of the BNP-led alliance, turning it into a 20-party coalition now.
Asked whether division in 20-party alliance affects the coalition anyhow, BNP standing committee member Mahbubur Rahman told the daily sun, “It’s not an important matter for the alliance. Who’ll remain with the alliance or who’ll not, it is their matter.”
Mentioning that the internal conflict is internal matter of the respective political parties, the BNP leader said, “It’s now a matter of time that more parties will join the 20-party alliance.”