Although BNP has been shattered in politics, its high-ups are making efforts to gear up their organisational activities in an attempt to put up a good fight against the ruling Awami League in the next general election.
BNP-insiders say they have lost confidence to win the polls slated for 2023, as the party’s leaders have come into conflict with each other and there is no light of hope to overcome the fragile situation.
Besides this, BNP Acting Chairman Tarique Rahman, who was sentenced to life in prison in a grenade attack case, has been staying in London on political asylum after the 1/11 political changeover.
Party sources say there is a very little chance for Tarique to return home soon and Khaleda has not actually remained in politics and she may be sent back to jail any time.
Even, both Khaleda and Tarique will not be able to participate in the next general election as they are convicted in different cases.
“In this situation it is very much tough to wage any strong movement to realise our demands, including holding the next general election under a non-party government. The party is actually plunged into various crises, including serious internal conflict and lack of courageous leadership,” said a central leader wishing not to be named.
Mentioning the miserable condition of the BNP, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said on October 4 that who would vote for BNP as the party does not have the prime face?
“We have enough capacity to win at least 80 to 85 percent seats in the parliament election, if it is held in a free, fair and neutral manner. I am not interested to talk about the next polls right now. No election will be free, fair and neutral under the incumbent (Awami League) government,” he said. Speaking at a briefing, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said people would vote for them to get rid of the Awami League.
BNP insiders said sensing the party’s condition, its allies of 20-party alliance also have been leaving the party as Khelafat Majlish and Jamiyate Olamaye Islam parties have left the coalition recently.
And a large number of the party leaders and activists have already become inactive in politics and many of its capable candidates in a number of parliamentary seats are also not interested to contest the next polls.
A few central leaders said the party can’t draw public attention in their previous and current programmes and movements wage in several phases while the party was also not active in different public issues in various times. At the same time, the party has also lost its public support due to its connection with Jamaat-e-Islami, a party of war criminals.
They also said the BNP is also plunged into a crisis of internal conflict while it couldn’t hold its national council session and formation of new central committee though the tenure of its central and unit committees expired for years.
“Though some committees of its different units, including Dhaka south city unit and Dhaka north city unit convening committee and Jatiyatabadi Krishak Dal central committee have been formed but a large number of the party men are unhappy for appointing weak and incapable leaders,” said a leader.
He further said in absence of Khaleda Zia and Tarique Rahman in the political field, the party has lack of chain of command as many leaders can’t accept each other.
Ahead of the next parliament election, the party has already held series of meetings in phases with leaders of its central executive committee and front and associate organisations and took views of the party leaders about the general election and movement. Now the party has planned to sit with professionals on October 8-9 in the same issue.
In the meetings, the party leaders have expressed their serious resentment to the inactivity and incapacity of the party senior leaders and blamed faulty political strategy for failure in the previous elections and movements and also emphasised the need for resolving internal conflict to overcome the crisis.
“We are ready to take to the streets whenever our party will announce programmes. But we are also worried apprehending that whether our party central command can wage any fruitful movement at all. If the movement failed again, BNP has to face dire consequence again,” a central leader said.
However, a senior leader said a group of party leaders are against waging any strong movement right now as they think it will only invite tough action against them by the government which eventually may demoralise the party rank and file.
BNP sources said in the current situation of the party, a group of the party leaders are approaching Tarique to join the next parliament election under the incumbent government and to work for ensuring at least the position of major opposition in parliament in a bid to survive in the political arena.
On the other hand, another group of the party leaders are insisting and creating pressure on Tarique to wage movement against the government to realise their demands and to boycott the next general election if it is held under the party in power, the sources added.