BNP will observe its 40th founding anniversary today when it is facing the worst-ever crisis and a number of challenges ahead of the next national election.
Former President Ziaur Rahman founded the party on September 1, 1978. After his assassination on 30 May 1981, his widow Khaleda Zia took over its leadership.The embattled party is celebrating its founding anniversary at a time when its chairperson Khaleda Zia has been detained in jail in a corruption case.
Khaleda and her son Tarique Rahman are also facing several cases. Tarique, senior vice-chairman of the party, has been staying in London since long.
The party, which came to power several times, boycotted the 2014 general election. It has been out of power for over 11 years since the 1/11 political changeover.
No member of the Zia family is apparently in the field of politics in recent days.
Talking to the daily sun, a number of BNP leaders said that the party has been going through the worst-ever political and organisational crisis in its history, thus appearing to be a spent political force in the country’s political theatre.
Ahead of the next election, the party is facing a number of challenges, including release of BNP leaders and activists, including Khaleda, from jail before the polls, participation in the next election and making way for Tarique Rahman to return home, they added.BNP leaders said the party again is planning to wage a short-time strong movement to realise their demands while their challenge is that if they fail in the movement, the party may has to face dire consequences for it.
The party already failed in its previous anti-government movement due to various reasons, including organisational weakness and lack of competent, dedicated leadership.
BNP sources said the party’s rank and file is worried about the organisation’s future ahead of the next polls as it has long been demanding polls under a neutral administration, but the government pays no heed to their demand.
Finally, BNP might have to join the next polls under the party in power.
Asked whether BNP can overcome its current crisis, BNP vice-chairman Shamsuzzaman Dudu said, “BNP has plunged into danger several times, but has overcome the situation. Now BNP’s main challenge is the restoration of democracy and ousting the current fascism. BNP is forwarding such a way that will be successful.”
BNP organizing secretary Fazlul Haque Milon said, “Political parties always face crisis and good time. Not only BNP but also the entire nation is now in crisis. Of course, we will be able to overcome this situation.”
BNP leaders said the party is now making its best effort to overcome the crisis as its leaders and activists have become upset due to failure in movement, imprisonment of Khaleda Zia and conviction of Tarique Rahman and cases against party top leaders that have made them worried over the future leadership as the party chief and senior others may also be convicted in different other cases.
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said they think there is no way but waging a movement against the current Awami League-led government to realise their demands, including release of Khaleda Zia from jail and holding a free and fair election.
In this situation, the embattled party is going to hold a public rally in front of its Nayapaltan central office in the capital on Saturday to mark the party’s founding anniversary where party senior leaders may give special instructions to the party men about the next course of action ahead of their anti-government movement and election.
Party senior leaders said they plan a ‘massive showdown’ in the public rally that will start at 2pm to invigorate its rank and file ahead of the election.
The BNP, its front and associate organisations have taken up programmes, including discussions, public meetings, hoisting the party flag, placing wreaths at the grave of the party founder and taking out colourful processions, to mark the day.