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POST TIME: 25 January, 2020 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 25 January, 2020 01:48:14 AM
BNP eyes rejuvenating activists thru city polls
RAFIQUL ISLAM AZAD, Dhaka

BNP eyes rejuvenating activists thru city polls

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) wants to rejuvenate the party rank and file in the capital by engaging them in the forthcoming Dhaka civic polls, according to party insiders. Party policymakers think that they will do fairly well if the two city corporation elections, slated for January 30, are held in a free and fair manner. They also think that good results in the civic polls will provide fresh energy to party activists and add momentum to the movement to free Khaleda Zia.

Some leaders confess that they are yet to overcome the losses during the two movements that were launched before and after the January 5 parliamentary election in 2014.   

The leaders say it is important for the BNP to take part in the election so that people can judge the attitude and mentality of the ruling Awami League (AL).

The BNP boycotted the national polls in 2014 after the government refused to meet its demand to hold the election under a non-partisan administration.

The party, however, took part in the December 30 election last year under the present government. After obtaining only six parliamentary seats, it claimed that the polls were largely manipulated. The BNP also backtracked from its initial decision to not join Parliament.

As part of its changed policy, the BNP is now taking part in the polls to Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC). Party leaders and activists are actively taking part in the electioneering.

A senior BNP leader said the party should intensify the movement on the streets. It should also take part in the civic  

polls to show to the people the real face of the government and the Election Commission (EC), he added. “Had the BNP not taken part in the last general polls, it wouldn’t have been able to prove the election’s farcical nature. So, it’s important to take part in each election to show the true face of the administration,” he said.

The leader, preferring anonymity, said engaging party leaders and activists from all levels would also help turnaround the party in the political arena as well.

BNP standing committee member Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said that BNP candidates already won the elections as far as public opinion is concerned.

He also said they would contest the civic polls defying all obstacles and intimidation. “Despite all these, if any manipulation happens, the people give a proper reply to the government,” he warned. The veteran BNP leader said taking part in the election would help the party to stay on a firm footing.

BNP vice-chairman Barkatullah Bulu said the party was taking part in the election as part of its movement to free party chairperson Khaleda Zia and to restore the voting rights of the people.

“Taking part in the elections has created an opportunity for inactive party leaders and activists to take to the streets and carrying out electioneering. This will make them rejuvenated and vibrant,” he observed. He said a mass upsurge had been created in favour of the BNP candidates contesting the civic polls. “If the government tries to manipulate the city polls, the people will resist them,” he added.