The BNP, Gano Forum chief Dr Kamal Hossain-led Jatiya Oikya Prokriya, Mahmudur Rahman Manna’s Naogorik Oikya and ASM Adbur Rab’s Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) have launched a new anti-government alliance leaving out AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury’s Bikalpa Dhara.
The announcement by the new coalition ‘Jatiya Oikya Front’ came from a media call at the National Press Club.
Flanked by BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, Dr Kamal Hossain made the announcement.
“This unity is for the sake of the nation, not to protect the interest of a specific party. Two parties of the Jukto Front coalition are with us and we expect others to join us,” he said while addressing the media.
JSD President ASM Abdur Rab, Nagorik Oikya Convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna, Gonoshasthaya Kendra Founder Zafrullah Chowdhury, and Gono Forum Executive President Subrata Chowdhury, among others, were also beside Kamal at the time.
BNP Standing Committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain and Moudud Ahmed, former caretaker adviser Barrister Mainul Hosein, former vice-president of Dhaka University Central Students' Union (Ducsu) Sultan Mohammad Mansur Ahmed were also present.
Nagorik Oikya’s Manna read out the seven-point demands and 11-point vision of the new alliance.
“We have been in talks to form such national unity for quite some time and at last, we have successfully launched it today,” Manna said.
The seven demands include formation of a non-partisan government through discussion with all political parties, after the resignation of the incumbent government and dissolution of the parliament to hold a fair election; release of all political prisoners, including Khaleda, and withdrawal of false cases filed against opposition leaders and activists.
Their demands also include Election Commission reform with qualified personnel, no use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the next election, withdrawal of false cases filed against students and journalists, and deployment of army personnel with magistracy powers 10 days before the national polls.
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said a new journey of a democratic movement began today with the formation of the new alliance.
He said though Bangladesh was liberated with a dream of building a democratic country, people are now crying for democracy.
“The nation, we believe, will get freed from the current situation through our united movement,” he added.
The Jukto Front coalition consisted of Manna’s party, Bikalpa Dhara and Rab-led JSD.
Former president and Bikalpa Dhara chief B Chowdhury served as the coordinator and spokesperson of it.
The development came after rifts appeared in the alliance organised by the Jukto Front, the Jatiya Oikya Prokriya and the BNP.
The three groups were scheduled to meet to finalise their outline for the alliance on Saturday, but the meeting failed to materialise.
With the joining of two parties in the new alliance, Jukta Front apparently faced a split as B Chowdhury announced not to join the Jatiya Oikya Front.
At a press conference at his residence, B Chowdhury said their party is not there in the Dr Kamal-led new alliance.
He said they did not join the new alliance as BNP did not accept their two demands— cutting ties with Jamaat-e-Islami and an assurance of a balance in power during formation of the government.
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