Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is trying to forge a greater alliance with all the opposition political parties, including left-leaning ones, to wage a movement to realise their demands, including holding the general election under a non-party administration after ousting the present government.
“BNP will take initiatives to forge greater unity, lead the movement to ensure the fall of the incumbent Awami League government and hold the general election under a non-party and neutral administration. Talks are going on to this end,” BNP Standing Committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain told the Daily Sun.The BNP-led 20-party alliance had failed to realise its demand for holding the general election under an election-time administration and so, they boycotted the 10th parliamentary elections held on January 5, 2014.
Later, BNP formed Jatiya Oikya Front with Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain at the helm to ensure people’s participation in their movement but they again failed to force the government to give in to their demands and faced a debacle in the 11th parliamentary polls held on December 30, 2018.
Even BNP failed to ensure the release of party Chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail who was later freed upon an executive order of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Though the 20-party alliance and Jatiya Oikya Front still exist, these two political coalitions, led by BNP, are inactive and almost dysfunctional while BNP is carrying out its own political activities on a limited scale amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Talking to the Daily Sun, some central BNP leaders said their party is now looking for alternative ways to ensure people’s participation in their movement against the incumbent government.
They said the party wants to forge greater unity of the opposition political parties through bringing them, including leftist ones, under a single platform.The party has planned to keep its main ally Jamaat-e-Islami behind the scene as the left-leaning parties have allergy to the Islamist organisation.
Khandaker Mosharraf said they are trying to forge a greater alliance with some other political parties to wage a greater movement to realise their demands, including one for holding the general election under a non-party and neutral election-time administration.
He said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir is holding discussions with the opposition parties to forge the greater combine.
Some mid-level leaders of the party are maintaining contact with some other Islamist and leftist political parties as part of their efforts to forge the greater unity.
Talking to the Daily Sun, Saiful Huq, general secretary of Revolutionary Workers Party of Bangladesh, said, “W won’t join the BNP-led alliance directly but we may join the movement for restoration of democracy.”
BNP insiders said the party is trying to include some political parties like Hefajat-e-Islam Bangladesh, Islami Andolon Bangladesh and components of leftist alliance Left Democratic Alliance (LDA) in the platform to wage a greater movement ahead of formation of the new Election Commission.
The LDA components are Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal (BSD), Revolutionary Workers Party of Bangladesh, Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal (BSD-Marxist), Ganasanghati Andolon, Bangladesher United Communist League, Ganatantrik Biplobi Party and Bangladesher Samajtantrik Andolon.
The BNP also wants to bring immediate past Vice-president of Dhaka University Central Students’ Union (Ducsu) Nurul Haque Nur and other social organisations, who are vocal on different issues, under the unity.
They party sources said BNP high command is also working to bring back Andaleeve Rahman Partho of Bangladesh Jatiya Party (BJP), Jebel Rahman Ghaani of Bangladesh National Awami Party and Khandaker Golam Mortuza of National Democratic Party to the greater alliance.
In this situation, some components of the 20-party alliance and Jatiya Oikya Front and BNP leaders have opined that the two alliances should be dissolved and a single greater alliance should be formed with all opposition political parties to wage a strong movement, the sources added.
However, a senior BNP leader, wishing not to be named, said there is difference of opinions weather the party will wage the movement of its own or join the greater alliance.