Why are small parties seen big in Bangladesh politics now?

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Swadesh Roy
Published : 22:02, Sep 17, 2018 | Updated : 22:03, Sep 17, 2018

Swadesh RoyThe eleventh parliament election of Bangladesh is coming soon. Most probably, it will be held in the last week of December. The alliance running the government, basically, their leader Sheikh Hasina, the present Prime Minister is now in an absolute vigorous position.
There is no leader in the country to compete with her. She has changed the politics into a dynamic one in the country.
Although her party is a big party in the country, she made her party more inclusive and adaptable for making an alliance in the history of this longstanding party. She is adapting all kind of thoughts in her alliance from left ideas to religious based politics. Her inclusive mind and direction of politics availed her to build up a robust, basically most sustainable economy. So, she needs a peaceful election and needs to continue in power for reaching her development goal.
Ironically, the politics of Bangladesh has yet not reached in a position where Sheikh Hasina has reached. The country's politics is still in the dirty water. One of the major parties, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), basically not a true political party, but this party relished a longtime power in Bangladesh. This party is not only created by the military ruler but also it is still in the club of opportunist privileged class and the religious extremists.
The party ruled the country for a long time, enjoyed the power, and sucked the economy by the power-tube. However, this party is now in a very bad shape. Their main leader, Khaleda Zia, is now passing a prisoner life by being awarded five years' jail in a corruption case. The second highest leader of the party is living an absconding life being awarded jail sentence in different cases, even including the same case which convicts Khaleda.
In this situation, a national election is about to happen shortly in Bangladesh, and this election is a big political game for both the ruling political alliance and the BNP. Five years ago, BNP and their Islamic fundamentalist alliance did not participate in the last general election rather they went to prevent the election. They terrified the country, burnt to death an abundance of people by their petrol bombs, burnt enormous numbers of the wealth of the country, but ultimately they failed to stop the election.
This time, BNP is in a big dilemma, whether they will participate in the election or not? They know it very much that their main leader and the second highest leader are not eligible to participate in the election. So they are searching for a leader who can lead them in the election if they participate. So they targeted two senior leaders in Bangladesh politics; one, Dr. Kamal Hossain, and another Dr. Badruddoza Chowdhury. Both are now orphan in the politics of Bangladesh but have a long past.
Chowdhury was basically the man of BNP, but he was thrown out poorly by the BNP from the post of the president of the country. After that he made another political party.
On the other hand, Hossain was a personal officer of the father of the nation of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Although he was the personal officer and trusty to Mujib, his role in the time of nine-month Liberation War of Bangladesh was mysterious.
However, Bangabandhu saved him. But he did not play a proper role after the death of Mujib. Then he was the foreign minister of Mujib cabinet. However, he was lucky, the daughter of Mujib, the present Prime Minister nominated him as a president candidate from her party.
On the contrary, he was in a conspiracy within the party against Sheikh Hasina. However, at a stage, he left the party of Sheikh Hasina, and by the help of the communist party leaders who then became orphan after the debacle of the then Soviet Union, he formed a new party, but now his party is basically a one man show party though he is a prominent lawyer in the country.
Some of the think tanks of the BNP are thinking that in this present condition, Hossain or Chowdhury can lead their election campaign as a leader of the same alliance.
However, some of the leaders of the present government do not think that they will join the alliance of the BNP rather they are waiting for an opportunity in the forthcoming election.
Their prediction is BNP will not participate in the upcoming election and these small parties' alliance will take the advantage of it. Then they will participate in the election and they are expecting that a good number of BNP candidates will join and participate in the election under the banner of their alliance. So, through the election, they will be the main opposition party of the country.
In this situation, the present government party and their alliance are waiting and observing the situation because what may come by these small parties will help them to hold an inclusive election that they are expecting. So these small parties game is now a big game in the eyes of both alliances.
A state award-winning journalist, Swadesh Roy is the executive editor of Bangla national ‘The Daily Janakantha’. He can be reached at swadeshroy@gmail.com

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***The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the opinions and views of Bangla Tribune.
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