A large number of BNP leaders and activists are in favour of severing their party’s ties with Jatiya Oikya Front and Jamaat-e-Islami.
Party insider said BNP should cut off relations with Jamaat before the beginning of the next course of action.They think that the mayhem Jamaat had unleashed has tarnished the BNP image in the United States, the United Kingdom, India and China.
“The international community doesn’t want BNP’s link with Jamaat. Our party’s relations with some countries are deteriorating due to the Jamaat issue. BNP can’t create its positive image at home and abroad without severing relations with Jamaat,” said a BNP leader.
Some BNP leaders also think that the party’s involvement in Jatiya Oikya Front has brought no positive results for the party.
Asked about their ties with Jamaat, BNP leader Mahbubur Rahman told the daily sun, “I never support BNP’s relations with Jamaat.”
Some party leaders said that BNP may cut ties with Jamaat as none is taking its relations with Jamaat easily.
About involvement with the Oikya Front, he said, “We’re in the Oikya Front. There is no matter of mistrust here. Probably, we aren’t cutting the relationship.”Talking to the daily sun, a senior BNP leader said, “I know the sentiment of the grass roots about severing ties with Jamaat.”
“We should respect the sentiment of the grassroots people. BNP is now facing problems with Jamaat. It is not an asset, but burden on BNP.”
A BNP vice-chairman said the party should cut ties with Jamaat and the front to become self-reliant to wage a strong movement.
“BNP involvement with the front is only giving benefits to the other components of the alliances,” he added.
Asked whether BNP would cut ties with Jamaat and Oikya Front, BNP vice-chairman Barkatullah Bulu declined to make any comment.
Some grassroots and central leaders of BNP said they think that their party’s image is being tarnished due to relations with Jamaat.
“Jamaat is now burden on BNP. And BNP is losing its organisational strength for dependency on Jamaat,” another senior leader of the BNP said.
A leader of the BNP said the party has a weak organisational base because of excessive dependency on Jamaat during its previous anti-government movement and recently held 11th parliamentary election.
“We’ve also lost public support for our relations with Jamaat. And the international community, including India, the USA and the UK, are not developing relations with BNP for its link with Jammat. Now, it is time to cut the relations with Jamaat to restore the image of BNP,” he said.
Party insiders said most of senior leaders are in favour of severing relations with Jamaat, but another group opposes it.
A section of leaders, especially those who are involved in BNP politics since it was found, do not want BNP to maintain links with Jamaat.
Some young leaders of BNP said they had to answer to questions from activists and other people because of its ties with Jamaat, which committed crimes against humanity in the 1971 liberation war.
BNP insiders said the party leaders and activists are now divided over the issue of maintaining relations with Jamaat, a key ally of the 20-party alliance.
Talking to the daily sun, some BNP central leaders said the party does not want to cut relations with its key ally Jamaat.
But it is keeping the Islamist party behind the scene by maintaining strategic distance for maintaining political unity with other parties.
Despite pressure from home and abroad, BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia wants to continue ties with Jamaat as her husband and BNP founder Ziaur Rahman had taken them under BNP wings, they viewed.
A group of BNP top leaders do not want to cut ties with Jamaat as they think the Islamist party activists took to the streets ‘violently’ during the previous anti-government movement.”
Besides, Jamaat has a vote bank which will help BNP assume power in the future, he added.
BNP cannot do better in the 2018 general election or wage strong movement to realise its demands without Jamaat’s help, they added.
A BNP leader who wishes to continue ties with Jamaat, said, “BNP can’t leave Jamaat in this crisis period of the party, as it hasn’t enough organisational strength right now to launch a strong movement alone against the incumbent Awami League-led government.”
Apparently giving a hint at not leaving Jamaat as per Gano Forum’s desire, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir at a programme on Wednesday said, “I would like to say it clearly that there’s no alternative to unity, no matter who thinks what…BNP has created a bridge between the Jatiya Oikya Front and the 20-Party for the cause of a historical necessity. It’s still necessary to maintain.