Thursday, 28 October, 2021

BNP with them, not with them

  • Mohammad Al Amin
  • 17 September, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news

Mid-level leaders of the major opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) in their series of meetings have raised voice against continuation of their political alliances and spoken in favour of simultaneous movement, BNP insiders said.

They also favoured quitting connections with Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and Jatiya Oikya Front and 20-party alliances as they criticised the party’s previous political strategy, including formation of Jatiya Oikya Front under the leadership of Gano Forum president Dr Kamal Hossain and maintaining alliance with the Jamaat, the party of war criminals, the sources added.

“Most of the party leaders spoke in favour of forging simultaneous movement instead of going combined movement with any alliance,” BNP vice-chairman Barkatullah Bulu, who was present in the first day’s meeting of the party’s vice-chairmen and chairperson’s advisers, told the Daily Sun.

He further said, “All we have agreed that we do not want any election under the current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. We want holding the next general election under a neutral election commission and election time non-party government.”

The BNP leaders gave the opinion in three-day long series of closed-door meetings that started on Tuesday and ended on Thursday at the party chairperson’s Gulshan office in the capital. BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman joined the meeting virtually from London. 

On the third day of the meetings, top leaders of the BNP’s front and associate organisations, including Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, Jubo Dal, Mahila Dal and Swechchasebak Dal, were present and gave their observations and opinion about the party’s situation and its next course of action, meeting sources said.

On the second day, BNP joint secretaries-general, secretaries and assistant secretaries were present while on the first day of the meeting, the party's vice-chairmen and advisers participated in the closed-door meetings in the same venue. Tarique Rahman virtually joined all the programmes from London.

BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir along with some standing committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, and Iqbal Hassan Mahmud Tuku were also present in the three-day long meeting. “It was actually meeting of our party’s central executive committee. As we couldn’t hold the meeting together in a day due to lack of venue, we can’t call it as meeting of National Executive Committee officially. But we have discussed here everything,” BNP vice-chairman Shamsuzzaman Dudu said.

Mentioning that the meeting attendees have been asked not to disclose any information of the meeting, he said the party secretary general will brief journalists about it. “A press briefing is likely to be held on Saturday or Sunday after holding the party’s standing committee meeting,” he added.

BNP chairperson’s adviser Habibur Rahman Habib, who attended the meeting, said the party leaders spoke in favour of strengthening the organisation ahead of the movement and parliament election.

“Many of the leaders blamed the party top leaders for weakening the party through making pocket committees of different units and front and associate organisations and demanded selection of active and courageous leadership to lead the units and fronts to go ahead,” another leader said.

Talking to the Daily Sun, some other secretaries and assistant secretaries said the party leaders also demanded that the high command should resolve the BNP’s internal conflict and choose strong leadership to wage movement for realising their demands ahead of the next parliament election.

Some leaders also criticised the party’s previous political strategy, including formation of Jatiya Oikya Front under the leadership of Dr Kamal Hossain and relation with Jamaat, while they proposed to run movement alone without in alliance and to carry on movement by likeminded parties separately.

“We requested Tarique Rahman to strengthen the organisation, depending on the party instead of small allies of Jatiya Oikya Front and 20-party alliance and make an effective strategy to wage a strong movement,” said a secretary-level leader of the party who attended the meeting on the second day.

Another leader said they also gave opinions to wage movement with the active participation of senior leaders of the party and advocated for holding countrywide rallies, precessions to revamp the party men ahead of the next general election. 

BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said the meetings were held to review the overall political situation in the country and seek views of leaders on what BNP should do to realise its demand for holding the next parliament election under an election-time non-party administration.

Tarique Rahman took the opinions of the party leaders to determine the next course of action to make the party more active at the field level, he added.

After the meeting with the party leaders, Tarique Rahman will also hold a meeting with the pro-BNP intellectuals and leaders of pro-BNP professional organisations to take their opinions, BNP sources said.

BNP insiders said finally, the BNP will finalise its next course of action after holding meeting with the allies of the 20-party alliance and the Jatiya Oikya Front, ahead of the next parliament election.