Embattled BNP turns to small political parties | 2018-09-25 | daily-sun.com

Anti-govt Movement

Embattled BNP turns to small political parties

Mohammad Al Amin     25 September, 2018 12:00 AM printer

Organisational incapacity has pushed BNP to turn to some small political parties and alliances to realise its demands.

Sources said the party is now putting its best efforts to forge a greater political unity to launch a joint movement to realise its demands, including the release of its chief Khaleda Zia from jail and holding of the upcoming national polls under an election-time non-party administration.

To this end, BNP is continuing discussions to convince some political parties including Gano Forum led by Dr Kamal Hossain, Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh led by AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) led by ASM Abdur Rob, Nagorik Oikya led by Mahmudur Rahman Manna and some leftist and Islamist political parties to forge the greater political unity, said the sources.

BNP insiders said the party’s acting Chairman Tarique Rahman during a recent meeting with Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir in London strongly directed forging the political unity at any cost by September to launch the anti-government movement.

Some BNP leaders said the party, which earlier failed to wage a strong movement against the Awami League government despite several attempts, has no other alternative to forging unity with other small political parties as it is facing the worst crisis since its separation from the state power more than 11 years ago.

The party has plunged into the crisis due to various reasons including Khaleda Zia’s imprisonment, organisational weakness, lack of dedicated, courageous and loyal leadership, internal conflict, and lack of timely strategy, political analysts said.

BNP leaders said the party is now making its best efforts to overcome the crisis.  Meanwhile, conviction of Tarique Rahman and cases against party’s top leaders are causing concerns among the BNP leadership as they fear that the party chief and senior leaders might also be convicted in different other cases including August 21 grenade attack case.

Talking to the daily sun, a senior BNP leader said their only goal now is to oust the Awami League from power—- either by waging movement alone or forging a greater unity with other political parties.

Asked whether forging unity with small political parties will ultimately bring any positive results for BNP, BNP standing committee member Mahbubur Rahman told daily sun “I think something big can be done jointly with some small parties. There are some capable persons in the small political parties.”

Admitting to the organisational weakness of his party, he said “BNP’s organisational condition has become weak due to the government’s repression and some other limitations.”

Some BNP leaders said the party is desperately trying to forge the greater unity with other opposition parties but the initiative is being delayed due to excessive demands of those parties regarding seat sharing in the upcoming national election and share of state power if the unity comes to the power.

Jukto Front demands at least 50 seats from the BNP and confirmation of important ministries or post of prime minister and president for Dr Kamal Hossain and Badruddoza Chowdhury if the unity comes to power through the next polls, sources said.

As part of their activities to forge the greater unity, BNP leaders along with leaders of other parties on Saturday attended a citizen rally organized by Jatiya Oikya Prokria, led by its convener Dr Kamal Hossain in the capital. Presiding over the programme, eminent jurist Dr Kamal Hossian said they are carrying out efforts to establish the ‘national unity.’

In a written declaration placed in the citizen rally, the Jatiya Oikya Prokria demanded that the government forms an election-time neutral government through discussions with political parties by September 30 for holding a free, fair and neutral general election.

BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir at the citizen rally said his party chairperson Khaleda Zia sent a message asking them to form a national unity at any cost and different political parties to wage a movement to force the government for holding a fair national election.

Though Dr Kamal Hossain earlier demanded forming a polls-time non-party government by September 30, it seems that he already has taken a U-turn in his stance on the issue.

Talking to daily sun, the GanaForum president on Monday said his party may participate in the next parliamentary election under the incumbent government ‘if everything remains okay.’

Some BNP leaders said some party leaders are doubtful about benefits of forging the unity with the small political parties instead of waging movement with own strength.

“I’m not sure if this would a good idea as the other political parties are highly ambitious and they have a particular agenda,” a central leader of BNP said.

“Actually it is the political bankruptcy of a party that it tries to partner with small political parties. BNP has lost its own organisational strength and doesn’t have the confidence on its own capacity to launch any movement to realise its demands,” a political analyst told the daily sun.