Amid the final phase of oust-government movement, the major opposition BNP is celebrating its 45th founding anniversary today at a time when the party remains away from power for long 17 years and it is still uncertain when the long wait will end.
"Now our main target is to realise our demand of election under a non-party government through movement and restoration of democracy," BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan told the Daily Sun.
Few of the party leaders think that current dependence on foreign powers has weaken their ongoing movement as many of the party men are in dillydally in intensifying movement and expecting further foreign pressure on the government to meet their demands.
“There is frustration among the party men for staying away from power for long and failure in waging any effective movement. At the same time, party men are yet to get any specific decision about what to do if the government holds election under it,” a senior leader told the Daily Sun, wishing not to be named.
He said the leaders and activists across the country will have to be given clear message about the party’s stance and strategy and it has to forge an ‘effective’ movement immediately to compel the government to meet the demands instead of depending on foreign powers.
The BNP had lost its power through 1/11 changeover and then they had faced debacle in the general election held in 2008. The BNP had boycotted the 10th parliamentary election held on January 5 in 2014, demanding non-party caretaker government but had failed to stop the polls.
The party had participated in the 11th parliamentary election under the banner of Jatiya Oikya Front held on December 30 in 2018 but they faced another debacle with winning only in six parliamentary seats while the party alleged that the election was held at night before the day of election.
The party later turned its simultaneous movement into one-point movement in July this year.
Talking to the Daily Sun, different level leaders of the BNP said this time they have taken the ongoing movement as their ‘do-or-die’ movement to sustain their existence as the party has been staying away from power for long 17 years while many of their party leaders and activists were killed, many suffered imprisonment, become accused in several cases and were arrested for several times.
The BNP escalates its movement to a stage last month when it held a mammoth rally in the capital on July 28 to start a new phase of movement as they declared the sit-in programme in entry points of the capital for the next day but they failed to ensure expecting gathering at the programme on July 29.
After the failure, the BNP men were frustrated and their movement also lost tempo. Later, the party reshuffled its different units and wings to bring dynamism to intensify movement.
After an interval of 12 days of the simultaneous movement, the BNP started mass processions and foot-march programmes and will continue it for more few days. The party is likely to escalate its movement further from mid of September as they want to get results of their movement by this October, BNP insiders said.
The BNP has planned to observe sit-in and laying siege to important state offices like laying siege to Gana Bhaban, Election Commission, Secretariat and apex court to materialise their demands in September and October, another senior leader of the BNP said.
But the party is facing a number of challenges in movement as analysing the situation, they found that though the opposition men are participating in routine programmes massively but they are not joining any harsher programmes. On the other hand, the general people are not joining the movement yet.
The major opposition is now finding its way to escalate movement further and to take it to ultimate stage to attain their goal as the BNP standing committee on Monday held a virtual meeting and discussed their next course of action and next political strategy, sources said.
The BNP is celebrating its 45th founding anniversary when it’s around half a dozen of senior leaders, including its secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, are currently staying in Singapore for ‘medical treatment.’ The BNP secretary general is likely to return home on Saturday.
“Our movement will enter a new phase from Friday through our nationwide programmes marking our party’s founding anniversary. Tomorrow’s programme will be a part of our movement,” BNP vice-chairman Mohammad Shahjahan told the Daily Sun.
The BNP leader said the government will be compelled to hold election under a non-party caretaker government, through the movement. “It can’t be confirmed when and how the movement will take its height to compel the government to meet our demands. Time will say,” he added.
The party has taken big preparation to bring out a huge joy procession in Nayapaltan area of the capital today marking the party’s founding anniversary and to counter the rally of Awami Chhatra League to be held in city’s Suhrawardy Uddyan.