Leaders and activists of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) are worried over the health condition of party chairperson Khaleda Zia who is now undergoing treatment at Evercare Hospital in the capital.
She (Khaleda) is now at the secondary stage of liver cirrhosis and has also been suffering from cancer in her body as well as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, ophthalmological and other health problems, sources close to her physicians said.
The BNP chief underwent a biopsy on October 25 at Evercare Hospital as she developed a small lump in her body. She is now undergoing treatment at CCU (Coronary Care Unit) of the hospital.
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said the doctors advised their party chief to go either to the USA or the UK or Germany for advanced treatment as treatment of her diseases is not available in the country.
“She (Khaleda Zia) is in a critical condition,” Mirza Fakhrul said while talking to reporters on Wednesday afternoon.
Party insiders said Khaleda is not well as her condition is fluctuating frequently. Her condition deteriorated on Tuesday night as doctors faced difficulty in injecting blood into her body.
BNP activists and supporters are in the dark about Khaleda’s health condition, party insiders said adding that the party high command is ‘hiding’ the real condition of the BNP chief.
“Mirza Fakhrul knows better about the condition of madam (Khaleda Zia) as he regularly visits her at the hospital and gives us her day-to-day health update,” BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain told the Daily Sun.
A BNP central leader said that they are staying away from the hospital for the sake of proper health care of the party chief. “We are just praying for her quick recovery,” he added. Contacted, BNP Dhaka south city unit convener Abdus Salam said, “All of us are now worried over her condition as she is now in a critical condition. It is a great regret that Prime Minister (Sheikh Hasina) is not giving permission to take her abroad for treatment.”
BNP chairperson’s adviser Habibur Rahman Habib, said “All of us are now worried about BNP chief’s condition. Our party activists want the central leaders to immediately announce the next course of action regarding her treatment abroad.”
Party sources said anxiety among BNP leaders and activists across the country grew mainly soon after the party chief’s readmission to the hospital and because of the fact that responsible party leaders are not briefing about her condition regularly.
“BNP chairperson’s physicians are not telling us about her health condition in a bid to maintain her privacy. We are informing people of her health condition as much as we can,” Mirza Fakhrul said.
At the same time, most of the leaders and activists from the central to grassroots level fear whether Khaleda Zia can survive this time as rumor of her death has already spread in social media.
“Grass roots BNP leaders and activists blame the party high command for failure to ensure release of Khaleda Zia from jail as they think that if she was freed earlier, she might have got timely treatment,” a top party leader said wishing anonymity.
Addressing a press conference at the party’s Nayapaltan central office in the capital, Mirza Fakhrul announced an eight-day action programme to force the government to allow Khaleda Zia to go abroad for advanced treatment.
The programmes include demonstration, rally, human chain and procession. BNP, its front organisations Juba Dal, Shechchasebak Dal, Muktijoddha Dal, Mohila Dal and Chhatra Dal will observe the programmes from November 25 to December 4.
"The government is pushed her to death without any treatment in the last three years…It (government) has imprisoned this charismatic leader to destroy country's democracy," Mirza Fakhrul said.
Khaleda Zia, a 76-year-old former prime minister, was readmitted to Evercare Hospital on November 13 six days after she had returned home from the hospital.
On behalf of the family, Khaleda's younger brother Shamim Iskander submitted an application to the Home Ministry on 11 November for permission to take her abroad for treatment.
However, Law Minister Anisul Huq said the government will consider Khaleda's appeal if she submits a fresh petition after returning to jail.
The government released Khaleda Zia on March 25 last year after suspending her jail sentence as per section 401 (1) of the Criminal Code of Procedure (CrPC).