Tuesday, 30 May, 2023

BNP’s movement, polls preparations going on

The major opposition BNP is now taking preparations for the next general election alongside the ongoing movement to realise its demand for holding the polls under a neutral caretaker government.

“We have enough capacity to participate in the election. Our party leaders and potential candidates are in the field for movement to realise our demands. People will evaluate our potential candidates for their activities,” BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain told the Daily Sun.

He said if the incumbent Awami League government resigns, parliament is dissolved and the next general election is held under a non-party caretaker government, then they will participate in the polls. “There will be no problem for us to participate in the polls,” the BNP policymaker added.

BNP insiders said alongside carrying on the ongoing movement to realise its 10-point demand, the major opposition has been indirectly taking preparations for participating in the polls.

The party has already selected around 600 potential candidates while it has a list of around 1,000 nomination seekers to contest 300 parliamentary seats in the next general election.

Talking to the Daily Sun, some central leaders said a list of potential candidates has already been sent to the party’s acting chairman Tarique Rahman in London after a brief scrutiny.

“Tarique Rahman is evaluating performance of the party’s potential candidates in the current movement. The BNP high command has already given directive to around 600 potential candidates to remain in the field in the ongoing movement,” a central leader wishing not to be named told the Daily Sun.

BNP sources said the party will contest in around 250 parliamentary seats with its own candidates while it may share around 50 parliamentary seats with the candidates of the opposition parties, which are in the BNP’s current simultaneous movement, including Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami.

With the directive of Tarique Rahman, a party team comprising senior and mid-level leaders keeps watching the performance of the potential candidates and sending information to Tarique regularly. “Tarique Rahman sometimes talks to the potential candidates virtually,” said another leader.

“We have no problem in taking our election preparation as BNP is an election oriented political party. It is our routine work. However, currently we have paid our full attention to our movement to realise 10-point demand,” Md Harunur Rashid, a former lawmaker of BNP from Chapainawabganj-3, said.

The BNP leader further said the party’s potential candidates are already in the field of movement.

Talking to the Daily Sun, a potential candidate of the party Anisul Haque Babu, also joint convener of Pabna district unit of BNP, said they have enough preparations for participating in the polls as they are already in their respective field for movement to realise the 10-point demand of the party.

“We are now close to people, regularly holding programmes of our movement. So, people will evaluate our activities as we are doing movement for the people’s demand,” he added.

BNP insiders said the party high command has already assigned some leaders and professionals to make the party’s next election manifesto in light of the party’s 27-point proposal.

The party in December, 2022 unveiled its 27-point state reform formula to bring changes to the country’s governance system in a bid to ensure checks and balances in power, if it is voted to power.

The formula titled ‘An Outline of the Structural Reforms of the State’ has been prepared in line with the 19-point of party founder Ziaur Rahman and the party’s ‘Vision 2030’ presented by its Chairperson Khaleda Zia in 2017.

BNP sources said the party is now holding discussions with other opposition parties to make a common ‘state reform charter’ in light with the 27-point proposals and it will be declared soon at a press conference.

The opposition party has been carrying on its movement across the country with various programmes to realise its demands. Around 54 other opposition parties and organisations are also holding the movement programmes simultaneously with the BNP on the same issue.

On December 10 last year, BNP declared its simultaneous movement to realise the 10-point demand, including resignation of the current Awami League government, dissolution of incumbent parliament and holding the next national polls under election-time caretaker government.

The BNP has also declared that if it is voted to power in the next general election, then they will form a national government with the parties which are joining the BNP’s movement.