POST TIME: 19 June, 2018 12:32:37 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 19 June, 2018 10:15:40 AM
BNP weighs pros and cons of movement

BNP weighs pros and cons of movement

The BNP, arch-rival of the ruling Awami League (AL), is weighing all aspects of launching a tough movement soon to press for the release of party chairperson Khaleda Zia and the holding of the next general election under a neutral government, say party leaders. As part of the preparation, the party plans to hold a grand rally at Suhrawardy Udyan in the city sometime in July to start its next course of political action, ahead of the next general elections likely to be held later this year.

The party high-ups feel the government would not pay any attention to their demands for the release of Khaleda Zia and the holding of the next parliamentary polls under a neutral administration unless they launched a movement. Khaleda Zia is currently serving a five-year prison term following conviction in a graft case.

After his return from London, party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir held a series of meetings with party policymakers, senior party and alliance leaders. He shared with them the message of party acting chairman Tarique Rahman and discussed the possible course of action ahead of the next polls.

In a latest development, the BNP secretary general had a meeting with party standing committee members at the chairperson’s Gulshan office yesterday afternoon to discuss party strategies and its next course of action, said a senior leader, preferring anonymity.

The meeting agreed to hold a grand rally in Dhaka next month to give an ultimatum to the government to accept the party's demand to free all political leaders, including Khaleda, and to hold the next polls under a natural administration after reconstitution of the Election Commission (EC), dissolution of Parliament and deployment of the Army before the polls, said the leader.

If the government does not pay heed to their demands, the BNP, which had boycotted the 2014 general elections, will go for tougher action in September and launch a mass movement to force the government to concede the demands, the leader added.  

After the meeting, BNP standing committee member Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury said they discussed the latest political developments, Khaleda’s heath condition and her release, forthcoming city elections, including the Gazipur city poll, and the next political course of action.

He, however, said that no political programme had been finalised in the meeting.

BNP vice-chairman Shamsuzzaman Dudu said they had no option other than launching a movement to realise their demands. “Movement, movement, movement. We have no option other than to launch a movement. We have realised that the demand for the chairperson’s release and the holding of an inclusive and credible election is not possible without a movement,” he added.

He also said the party wanted to launch a mass movement with all the political parties, except those in the AL-led alliance, to force the government to accept their demands through talks.  The BNP leader expects the party policymakers to soon decide the next political course of action.

“The party policymakers would determine the next course of action anytime. A movement does not require a fixed date or time,” he added.

BNP joint secretary general Syed Moazzme Hossain Alal said they were taking the opinions of party leaders at different tiers about the possible course of action to free the party chairperson and ensure the holding a free and fair election. “The movement could begin anytime from anywhere,” he added.

“Now, we are concentrating on the forthcoming city polls including the Gazipur civic polls. If the government and enthusiastic people in the administration and law enforcers interfere in the city polls, the movement could even start from the grassroots,” he said.

The BNP leader, however, said the targets of all their activities would be to free the party chairperson and realise the demand for holding an inclusive and credible poll.