Schism within Menon-led Workers’ Party?

Salman Tareque Sakil and Touhid Zaman
Published : 12:30, Oct 20, 2019 | Updated : 14:53, Oct 21, 2019

This undated file photo shows Workers Party of Bangladesh chief Rashed Khan Menon speaks at a progamme.Bangladesh Workers’ Party is facing an internal crisis after 27 years. The party, aligned to Awami League led 14 party alliance, has Rashed Khan Menon as president and Fazle Hossain Badsha as general secretary. In the last few years, party politbureau members, Nurul Hassan and Iqbal Kabir Jahid expressed their dissatisfaction over the leadership.
It’s known that two members of the party policy making forum will withdraw their membership this week.
“There can be a variety of opinion at the party; two members expressed their views which we shared with other members,” said Menon.
Iqbal Kabir Jahid, says: “The organogram is being breached to include party members and most of the Leninist ideology is being ignored.”
Central committee member and former acting president of Bogura district, Saleha Sultana, said: “We had 113 members and this year, the general secretary filled 40 forms; in Rajshahi, an additional 1100 members were included.”
Party is veering away from its founding doctrine, she lamented.
Several party high ups feel that if pro Menon members corner those who oppose party decisions then there may be a schism.
Iqbal Kabir Jahid has said: “Problems have arisen after the party aligned with the government; we don’t want to use AL’s symbol and neither do we want to be part of the government.”
Several members of the party said that the name of Rashed Khan Menon was mentioned with several contractor firms, education institutes and the casino business busted recently; these have solidified a party voice against him.
A section of the party could not accept the nomination of Menon’s wife Lutfunnisa Beauty for the reserved seat in parliament.
Regarding the rumour that the party may split, Nurul Hassan, said: “We will not break the party; our main demand is that we will not be represented by AL’s symbol of the boat.”
Former General Secretary of the party Bimal Biswas, added: “The party is nowhere near the Marxist ideals on which it was based; since this is no longer a Communist party, I shall withdraw my membership form it.”
The party has moved away from its ideals and since it’s used as a tool to serve the interests of the few, the organisation is isolated from the masses, he added.
Those opposing the current state feel that the party should be revamped to re-emerge as a force to oppose imperialism, protect national resources and oppose class distinction.

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