Opposition political alliances in a morass

Salman Tareque Sakil
Published : 07:30, Aug 05, 2019 | Updated : 07:30, Aug 05, 2019

FILE PHOTOWhile the opposition parties in the country have apparent unity, in reality, their relations are fragile. There were alliances during the national election, though these pacts are now riddled with dissension.
No united effort has been seen over flood and Dengue.
During last election, 14 parties were active. In the existing alliances, the number of organisations are 152. The pacts include: 14 party, 20 party, Sammilito Jatiya Jot, Leftist pact, Jukto Front, National Democratic Front, Bangladesh Jatiya Party (BJP) and others.
Leaders of the Jatiya Oikkya Front and allied parties say that after the unexpected results at the national parliamentary election, BNP is fragmented. At present, the party’s main aim is the release of Khaleda Zia.
The government has a lenient attitude towards parole so instead of going into a movement, BNP wants to secure the release of Khaleda Zia.
Consequently, BNP is keeping itself away from street campaigns.
Convener of Nagorik Oikya, Mahmudur Rahman Manna, observes: “I do not seen any possibility at the moment because everyone is thinking separately. There is no consensus or unity.”
BNP source adds: “Jatiya Oikko Front triggered hope but post-election, disconsolation has set in.”
On Oct 13, BNP together with Dr Kama Hossain-led Jatiya Oikya Prokriya, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal and Nagorik Oikya launched the new alliance to press for their seven-point demand and 11 visions, including holding the next election under a non-party administration. FILE PHOTOExecutive president of Gano Forum, Subrata Chowdhury, observes: “BNP is busy with their work and after they have settled their pending matters, the front will be activated.”
On Jun 27, Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) President Col (retd) Oli Ahmed declared a new organsiation ‘Jatiya Oikkya Moncho’ to secure release of Khaleda Zia and ensure realisation of 18 points demand.
Representatives of JAGPA, Khelafat Majlish, took part in this. This move has reportedly distanced Oli Ahmed from BNP.
LDP leader say that since BNP leaders have lost respect by joining parliament, Oli Ahmed has become active at the behest of local and overseas quarters.
From the beginning, Oli Ahmed, has stood by Jamaat and is reported to have said that the current Jamaat is not the anti-liberation party of 1971 but a body of patriots.
BJP chief Andaleeb Rahman Partha has left BNP’s 20 party alliance and the former leader of the pact feels that the freedom of Khaleda Zia is a strategic issue.
“If the government feels, it can give her release, or if they want to incarcerate her before an election then BNP has to accept it.”
Several alliances, formed before Dec 30 election, have disappeared, including Islamic Democratic Alliance and Jatiya Jot led by Nazmul Huda.
The National Democratic Front, and several other alliances have no programmes.
Bangladesh Janata Party was formed with Bangladesh Hindu-Buddhist-Christian-Indigenous people party and other similar bodies on Sept 20, 2017, by Mithun Chowdhury but in October that year, Mithun disappeared. After 18 days, he and his party co worker were taken into police remand.
Jatiya Oikya Front holds a rally at the Registrar`s Office Field in Bandarbazar, Sylhet on OCt 24, 2018. FILE PHOTOThis alliance is inactive at the moment.
CPB-BSD and Gonotantrik Bam Morcha formed the Bam Gonotantrik Jot or the leftist democratic alliance. Their allies are – Biplobi Workers’ Party, Gonotantrik Biplobi Party, United Communist League, Socialist Party of Bangladesh (Marxist), Shomajtantrik Andolon and Gonosonghoti Andolan.
Meanwhile the Jaitya Mukti Jot features: Jatiya Mukti Council, Jatiya Gano Front and Bangladesh Shomajtantrik Andolan. Led by Badruddin Omar, the alliance observed a strike on Jul 7, protesting the rise of the price of gas. This alliance is always active on the road.
Chief coordinator of Gano Sanghati Andolon, Jonaed Saki, observes: “Leftists have to go through a plethora of problems; the totalitarian system and the politics of looting are the main impediments to the development of leftist programmes; but despite the obstacles, leftist parties are trying to unite.”