BNP high command is making an effort to prevent possible split in the party as a number of BNP leaders are not happy over some recent decisions taken by party acting chairman Tarique Rahman, sources said.
They said internal conflict in the party has surfaced further after some recent decisions, including restructuring of the party and joining parliament through taking oath by its lawmakers-elect, except BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.Asked about the existing situation of the party, BNP standing committee member Mahbubur Rahman told the daily sun that it is difficult to overcome the current critical situation of the party.
Talking to the daily sun, some central leaders of the party said they are now passing through the worst times as they fear split inside the party due to some recent decisions of the party high command. “Now we are waiting when the party’s current gloomy situation will become normal,” said a leader.
BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman alone has taken the decision to join parliament bypassing his mother and party chairperson Khaleda Zia and keeping the party senior leaders totally in dark which has made the party men seriously ‘upset’, they added.
The BNP leaders further said Khaleda Zia was not agreed on oath-taking by BNP MPs-elect and her release from jail on parole through making any understanding with the ruling Awami League.
Taking a total u-turn in the party’s decision to boycott parliament, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir at a press conference on April 29 said their party’s MPs-elect have taken oath at Tarique Rahman’s instruction as part of their movement to free Khaleda Zia from jail and to restore democracy.
“Our standing committee meeting on April 28 urged acting chairman Tarique Rahman to take decision on joining parliament. Our four MPs-elect were sworn in based on the decision he (Tarique) took as per our party charter,” he said.The BNP leader further claimed that Tarique Rahman has taken the decision to go to parliament after talking with standing committee, different level leaders of the party and some intellectuals.
Some central leaders of BNP said Tarique Rahman alone has taken the decision on oath-taking by the party’s lawmakers-elect to protect the party’s unity while the five lawmakers-elect particularly BNP joint secretary general Harun-ur-Rashid rejected Tarique’s order to refrain from oath-taking as MP .
If Khaleda Zia is not released from jail and the party could not wage any effective movement in the next, then BNP may get split, a central leader of the party told the daily sun wishing not to be named.
BNP insiders said many of the party leaders from grassroots to its standing committee are unhappy with Tarique Rahman for his recent decisions, including participation in parliament and his reorganisation process of the party, its front and associate organisations.
“He [Tarique Rahman] has weakened the party through taking the decision of joining parliament. The current condition says that the party’s unity may not exist,” a member of BNP standing committee told the daily sun wishing anonymity.
He said Tarique’s sudden decision on oath-taking has revealed that the party’s chain of command has broken down and it has also become weak organisationally.
Talking to the daily sun, BNP vice-chairman Shamsuzzaman Dudu said, “The current situation has become normal after Mirza Fakhrul refrained from taking oath as MP. After this, the party will be able to protect its unity through showing the oath taking by five BNP lawmakers as a strategic reason.”
Another BNP vice-chairman Barkatullah Bulu said, “It seems that just a tornado lashed over BNP in the last few days centring oath-taking by party MPs. Now we are waiting to overcome the current critical situation. We hope the situation will become normal within a few days.”
About the current situation of the party, another BNP standing committee member said the party is now passing through a bad time.
BNP insiders said Tarique Rahman now is contacting party leaders at different levels and talking to find way of overcoming the current ‘gloomy’ situation and to protect the party from possible split.
“Only Khaleda Zia can make the situation cool as the party leaders and activists are loyal to her. She has to intervene in the party’s current matters immediately. And her release from jail is inevitable to protect the party’s unity at this moment,” said a central leader of BNP.
BNP’s MPs-elect — Zahidur Rahman Zahid, Advocate Abdus Sattar, Harun-ur Rashid Harun, Aminul Islam and Mosharraf Hossain— took oath as members of the 11th Parliament on April 29. Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir did not take oath as MP while his constituency Bogura-6 has been declared vacant.
Talking to reporters after taking oath as MP, Harun-ur-Rashid Harun and Abdus Sattar said they came to parliament after consultation with Tarique. They talked to Tarique through videoconferencing and he permitted them to take oath, Abdus Sattar said.
BNP along with Gano Forum and some other parties joined the election in alliance under the banner of Jatiya Oikya Front. BNP bagged six seats while Gano Forum two in the election. The alliance turned down the election results bringing allegation of ‘massive vote robbery’ and decided not to join parliament.