Tuesday, 5 July, 2022

BNP’s overdue national council not in sight

Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is unlikely to hold its national council anytime soon to constitute the new central committees though the tenure of the present ones has expired over three years ago.

The party is not interested to hold the council keeping away its two key leaders -- BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and acting Chairman Tarique Rahman, party insiders said.

“I don’t know anything about the national council of our party. No decision has yet been taken in this regard,” BNP Standing Committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain told the Daily Sun.

BNP sources said the party high command is not interested to hold its national council before the next national election fearing that its existing problems may burst out and turn into internal conflict.

Khaleda Zia is staying at her Gulshan residence after getting conditional release from jail through the executive order of the government.

As per the conditions, she cannot get involved in political activities while her son Tarique Rahman has long been staying in London on political asylum.

BNP held its sixth national council on March 19, 2016 and later formed its national executive committee, standing committee and chairperson’s advisory council in phases for three years. The party held its fifth national council on December 8, 2009.

In the last council, the councillors endorsed Khaleda and Tarique as party chairperson and senior vice-chairman respectively. Later, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir was made secretary general on March 30, 2016.

After four months, BNP had formed a 502-member national executive committee in phases.

“Activities to reorganise our party that were interrupted due to the coronavirus pandemic are now going on. BNP will hold its council on completion of the reorganisation of its units across the country,” BNP Vice-Chairman Shamsuzzaman Dudu told the Daily Sun.

BNP sources said the party has reorganised its grass-roots units in only 50 organisational districts out of total 81. The party leaders say reorganisation of the party’s grass-roots units, including the district ones, is a process before holding the national council.

Although the convening committees of Dhaka south and north city units were formed in August, 2021, the process of formation of the full-fledged committees is going on at a snail’s pace.

Besides, committees of the party’s different other units, its front and associate organisations, including Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, Swechchhasebak Dal and Sramik Dal, have already expired but no new committee has yet been formed.

About the party’s 7th national council session, BNP insiders said the top leaders cannot hold councils for the party’s different units and its front and associate organisations due to internal conflict and they are facing a serious setback due to the absence of the party’s two top leaders.

Talking to the Daily Sun, some central leaders of the party said it is very tough to hold BNP’s national council in absence of Khaleda and Tarique as there is a fear of fresh crisis and internal conflict in the party and even the party may split.

A BNP central leader said there is no possibility of holding the national council this year while the party may be reshuffled on a limited scale without holding the council as there is a huge pressure from the party leaders and activists for holding the council.