BNP grassroots want reformists to be active or quit

Aditto Rimon
Published : 07:30, Oct 23, 2019 | Updated : 08:57, Oct 23, 2019


Central and grassroots level BNP leaders want reforms in the party and removal of leaders who were once reformists but are currently inactive.
There are accusations that the reformists do not visit their constituencies and are not seen at party programmes.
During the military-backed caretaker government of 2007, a fifteen-point reform proposal was sponsored by the then party secretary general Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan and a section of the party supported him. At that time, Mannan Bhuiyan and his followers became known as reformists. On Sept 3 that year, Bhuiyan was expelled from the party though his acolytes carried on with the reform agenda.
After Mannan Bhuiyan’s death, the reformists became leaderless. In 2016, 18 reformist leaders gave a written promise to BNP that they wanted to remain in the party led by Khaleda Zia.
They also signed a document of oath on Jan 5 at the residence of Sadek Hossain Khoka. Khaleda Zia told them to go to their respective areas and work for the party nominated candidates.
But the reformists soon became depressed as they were not included in the committee announced on Aug 3, 2016.
On Oct 25, ten reformists returned to the party through Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir. They include Alamgir Nanak, Abu Yusuf, Md Khalilur Rahman, Golam Mohammad Siraj, Dr Ziaul Huq, Nazir Hossain, and others.
BNP workers and activists of Naogaon said that reformist leader Alamgir Kabir left the area on the day of the election and could not be found at any BNP programme.
Naogaon district joint convener of BNP, Jahidul Islam Dholu, said: “He left the area on the day of the election and did not come back.”
'If he wants to remain in the party then he will have to be active,' added Dholu.
President of Barishal north, Mezbah Uddin Forhad, said: “I never saw reformist Jahir Uddin Shopon at any party event; he is totally inactive.”
BNP leaders in Sunamganj said: “Of the reformists, Najir Hossain, takes part in political activities from time to time and has also helped party workers financially.”
Nazir Hossain says: “I provided support to the best of my abilities but I do not have any post at the district BNP, so how can I take part at events?”
BNP standing committee member, Dr Khondokar Mosharraf Hossain, said: “It’s not possible to give any post to the reformists because that has to be done through councils. Some have been given posts at the district levels.”
Another standing committee member, Gayeshwar Chandra, commented: “The reformists came back on the pledge that they would take part in party activities; why would they need posts to be active?”
Only those who were active could be taken into consideration, later on, he observed.