Saturday, 30 September, 2023

Rift over non-functional 20-party alliance: BNP-Jamaat ties set to end

Rift over non-functional 20-party alliance: BNP-Jamaat ties set to end

Popular News

There has been a buzz in the political that the relations between the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its long-time alley Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami are going to end.

BNP’s relations with Jamaat-e-Islami, the anti-liberation force, appeared to have turned bitter after a video content featuring remarks of Jamaat Ameer Dr Shafiqur Rahman has gone viral.

But it is not clear whether the BNP really wants to severe its long-standing ties with Jamaat or Jamaat intends to cut the relationship with the main opposition party.

It learnt from insiders that Jamaat has a plan to quit the 20-party alliance anytime to run its political activities separately and taking preparation to contest the next national polls in at least 150 constituencies independently.

“The alliance has become ineffective. Different partners of the alliance, especially BNP, have no intention to make the coalition functional. They (BNP) sat with us and showed their aversion to making the alliance functional,” Shafiqur Rahman said in his video speech.

The Jamaat chief, however, said, “We will go for simultaneous action programmes for the national interest. We discussed the matter with them (BNP leaders) and they agreed with it.”

Asked about Jamaat’s stance, the party assistant secretary general Maulana Abdul Halim told the Daily Sun “We are still in the alliance. The 20-party alliance still exists, but it is not functioning.”

About the video speech of Dr Shafiqur Rahman, he said the speech has been distorted and presented in a wrong way.

“We will wage movement to realise our demand for holding the next national polls under a poll-time non-party government. We’ll go for movement either independently or with the alliance,” Maulana Abdul Halim added.

Another Jamaat leader wishing anonymity said, “Jamaat ameer (Dr Shafiqur Rahman) in his speech did not announce any formal decision. He delivered the speech at a party meeting. It was his informal speech.”

When contacted, BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan, also the coordinator of the 20-party alliance told the Daily Sun, “We have not dissolved the our alliance yet.”

Asked about Shafiqur Rahman’s speech, the BNP policymaker refrained making any comments in this regard.

Insiders said Jamaat does not want to continue relationship with BNP but they will no give any formal declaration on severing ties.

Another leader said Jamaat does not want to shoulder the responsibility for severing ties with the BNP.

However, the Jamaat is planning to carry out action programmes separately and started their party preparation to participate in the next parliamentary elections separately, sources said.

The party wants to contest at least in 150 parliamentary seats in the next national election, the sources added.

BNP insiders said the party’s senior leaders, including its policymakers, are divided over keeping any ties with Jamaat as some members of the BNP standing committee have at a meeting opinion in favour of cutting relationship with the Islamist party.

Talking to the Daily Sun, some Jamaat leaders said their party is reorganising secretly to wage movement simultaneously with other opposition political parties to press for the demand for holding the next general election under a polls-time neutral administration.

Although Jamaat is a major component of the BNP-led 20-party alliance, it is likely to go for movement separately in parallel with other parties instead of joining the any programme of the alliance.

“We’ve already taken a decision in principle that we’ll stage action programmes to press home the demand for holding the next national election under an neutral poll-time administration,” Abdul Halim said.

Abdul Halim claimed that their party is carrying out action programmes in whatever way they can, though not on streets, as the government does not allow them to stage any programme.

Jamaat and its student wing Bangladesh Islami Chhatra Shibir have been carrying out their activities secretly for its survival.

Sources said Jamaat is reorganising its front and associate organisations, including Shibir, across the country, to wage a movement against the government. They are holding party meetings secretly to this end, the sources added.