BNP going it alone?

Salman Tareque Sakil
Published : 02:00, Nov 29, 2019 | Updated : 02:00, Nov 29, 2019

File photo of a BNP supporter carrying a memorabilia of paddy sheaf, the party`s polls logo, at a rally in Dhaka. MEHEDI HASANWith a lethargic Oikya Front and a divided 20-party alliance, the BNP is dealing with the present situation. It seems that BNP is now going it alone. It is being driven by its main objective ---- to secure the release of its leader Khaleda Zia.
Leaders of BNP have said that due to current circumstances, alliance-based politics is stagnant. Since party organisation has taken precedence, political activity has lost steam. The party will launch its political programmes when top leaders have made a decision.
Many BNP leaders feel that they have to engage in a movement to secure the release of Khaleda Zia.
Reportedly, the internal situation within BNP, Oikya Front and 20-party alliance is restive and there is a pervasive suspicion over united alliance.
Top leaders of Jatiya Oikya Front on the stage of an alliance rally at Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka on November 6, 2018. FILE PHOTOJatiya Oikya Front has four allied parties – Gano Forum, JSD, BNP and Nagorik Oikya.
President of Gano Forum, Dr Kamal Hossain, omitted Mostafa Mohsin Montu and made Reza Kibria, son of former finance minister Shah AMS Kibria the general secretary.
There are also factions within the party.
ASM Rob’s JSD is breaking up, led by party general secretary Abdul Malek Ratan. Meanwhile, the Nagorik Oikya led by Mahmudur Rahman Manna is inactive.
The BNP led 20-party alliance began as a four-party alliance in 1999 and stayed in power for five years. Though the alliance expanded after 2012, its impact has come down to zero.
One of the allies of the pact is the anti-independence Jamaat Islami. Due to the involvement of Jamaat, the BNP is not maintaining an effective relation. There is also resentment within Oli Ahmed’s Jatiya Mukto Mancha. The association of LDP is now a vexing issue.
An important ally of the 20-party alliance is Jamaat where Dr Shafiqur Rahman has been elected the new amir. He will take oath soon and the party will get a new leadership. The new top leadership of Jamaat will feature people who are not accused of war crimes in 1971.
However, Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury said: “Jamaat must apologise for its role in 1971.”