Update: 25 January, 2019 09:48 AM
How far BNP will go with this leadership?

How far BNP will go with this leadership?

Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has faced the third consecutive defeat to Awami League in the general elections. The party leaders have been defeated both in their movement and the battle of ballots under the current leadership. In such circumstances, the question is: How far the party will go with the same leadership?

This has become the talk of the town. Not only the leaders and activists of the party but also the common people are now seen asking the same question.

After the conviction of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, her elder son Tarique Zia took the helm as the acting chairman of the party. But the main question is: Whether Tarique will be able to gain the acceptance from the global community in absence of his mother.

Especially, many well-wishers of the BNP think that party's defeat in the 11th Parliamentary polls would not be so humiliating if Tarique had got the blessings of India.

BNP secured only 32 seats out of 300 during the general elections in 2008. Later in 2014, the party boycotted the January 5 election which has been estimated as their one of the biggest political mistakes.

Experts think although the party participated in the last national polls, the party policymakers failed to assess the thoughts of the international community. Party insiders said Tarique Rahman could not gain the faith and confidence of the global leaders despite political lobbying and efforts.

A large part of the party thinks that Tarique's direct involvement in nominating the party candidates through Skype has cast an adverse effect in the national polls.

He also attracted criticism within the party by nominating some of his close aides, said party insiders.

Moreover, it had been estimating that if BNP wins in the poll, Tarique Rahman would be the head of the government. Even, he could be invited to lead the new government as prime minister. The foreign diplomats were also concerned over the issue and during a meeting with Jatiya Oikyafront leaders they asked the question. But, they failed to get any satisfactory answer and that could be a reason behind BNP's defeat in the polls.

Wishing anonymity, some leaders said two of the BNP Standing Committee members have already placed the proposal of changing the leadership. Two top BNP leaders--Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain and Moudud Ahmed--while addressing a programme on the occasion of party founder Ziaur Rahman's birth anniversary, also spoke on the issue.

According to experts, Tarique Rahman could create a positive image by withdrawing him from the direct political activities before the election. Rather, he could maintain the role of an indirect policymaker. Especially, he could assure the global community that he will not be prime minister of the new government in order to create a positive atmosphere.

One of the top leaders of Oikyafront and also the Founder of Gono Shasthaya Kendra, Dr Zafarullah Chowdhury, told Kalerkantho that Tarique Zia should take a formal break in order to gain the support of international community.

"He [Tarique] must understand the situation otherwise nothing can be done. One of the senior leaders of BNP can take the helm of the party until Khaleda Zia is released from the jail. She will lead the party again after her release as she is well accepted by all," he added.

Dr Badiul Alam Majumdar, secretary, SHUJAN: Citizens for Good Governance, said: "BNP is suffering from leadership crisis. In order to get out of it, BNP must select a new leader and also must work for restoring people's faith."

According to political expert Dr Tarique Shamsur Rahman, BNP cannot move further under the current leadership. Eligible and acceptable leaders should be included in the Standing Committee of the party.

Two senior BNP leaders wished not to be mentioned said BNP should not allow Jamaat-e-Islami leaders to contest in the poll with BNP's electoral symbol. It was a mistake which was also not accepted by the international community.

Although BNP is the major political ally in the Jatiya Oikyafront, Tarique Rahman is not considered the top leader of the alliance. Rather, Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain is performing the role of the key leader.

LDP Chairman Oli Ahmed, on the other hand, has been made the chief coordinator of the 20-party alliance. Consequently, in fact, Tarique Rahman's direct influence on the alliance is now scarcer. But after formation of the four-party coalition in 1999 and after the formation of the 20-party alliance, BNP chief Khaleda Zia was called “Jotenetri”.

Senior Vice-chairman Tarique Rahman took the responsibility of the acting chairman of BNP, staying in London after his mother BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia was sentenced to jail in a corruption case in February last year.

According to the sub-section 2 of Section 8 (Ga/C) of the constitution of the party, in absence of the chairman, senior vice-chairman will act as acting chairman of the party. Under sub-section 3 of the same section, it has been said that senior vice-chairman will be appointed as the chairman during the remaining period when chief's post fell vacant.

BNP insiders said that according to the party constitution, there is no scope for anyone to lead the party keeping Tarique Rahman away from the party position. The constitution of the party is needed to be amended to pick another leader.

And in a bid to bring such amendment, the party must hold its National Council. However, some BNP benevolent suggested that someone from the party can be made an executive president to make the party a 'functional' one.

A member of the BNP Standing Committee has recently placed three proposals for making the party a well-designed one soon at a party meeting held on January 15.

One of these is holding the National Council in March or April this year. But before the expected council, he also proposes holding the meeting of the executive committee of the party and a meeting of the BNP nominated candidates participated in the December 30’s election.

Writer: Enam Abedin, Deputy Editor, The Daily Kalerkantho


সম্পাদক : ইমদাদুল হক মিলন,
নির্বাহী সম্পাদক : মোস্তফা কামাল,
ইস্ট ওয়েস্ট মিডিয়া গ্রুপ লিমিটেডের পক্ষে ময়নাল হোসেন চৌধুরী কর্তৃক প্লট-৩৭১/এ, ব্লক-ডি, বসুন্ধরা, বারিধারা থেকে প্রকাশিত এবং প্লট-সি/৫২, ব্লক-কে, বসুন্ধরা, খিলক্ষেত, বাড্ডা, ঢাকা-১২২৯ থেকে মুদ্রিত।
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