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21 March, 2019 00:00 00 AM

Oikyafront, 20-Party Alliance almost non functional

Leaders express frustration, blame BNP
Rafiqul Islam Azad, Dhaka

Both the Jatiya Oikyafront and the 20-Party Alliance, where the opposition BNP is the major partner, have become almost "non-functional" due to lack of political course of action following the December 30 parliamentary elections, alleged alliance leaders.  

The two opposition alliances that rejected the last national election over alleged vote engineering did not organise any outdoor programme, except one or two, for the last three months after the elections, said the leaders.

Leaders of some alliance partners expressed their frustration over the long silence of the BNP, and held the party responsible for the inaction in carrying out joint programmes.

Some leaders, however, said their unity remains intact. They are observing the political situation, and will certainly come up with a new course of action on national interests soon.

A top leader of the 20-party alliance mentioned that they had only two indoor meetings after the elections. Indeed, the 20-party has become non-functional after the emergence of the Jatiya Oikyafront before the parliamentary elections, he said. The BNP leaders, however, said there is no democratic space in the country and the government does not allow the opposition to hold rallies and meetings.

They also said they are going slowly on the next political course of action, as hundreds of their party leaders, implicated in false cases before the elections, are either in jail or have gone into hiding to avoid arrest.   BNP standing committee member, Nazrul Islam Khan, chief coordinator of the 20-party alliance, said the political situation is not fit for a combined programme.

He said the 20-party leaders are in touch with them and they would hold a meeting of the alliance soon and decide on the next course of action.

BNP vice-chairman Shamsuzzaman Dudu said they cannot carry out a normal political course of action as there is no minimum democratic space in the country.

He claimed that there is no democracy and constitutional government in the country, and thus they cannot hold meetings and rallies.

The BNP leader, however, said their activities have not been suspended, rather they are carrying out programmes.

He mentioned that around one lakh fictitious cases were filed implicating over 25 lakh opposition leaders and activists before the elections that broke all previous records.

“There is no problem within the 20-party alliance and the Jatiya Oikyafront. We will take the new course of action after overcoming our organisational weaknesses,” he added.

Mostafa Mohsin Montu, general secretary of Ganaforum, a major partner of the Jatiya Oikyafront, sees no inactiveness inside the alliance. He said they have carried out a public hearing on the alleged irregularities in the December 30 elections.  

He said they are moving forward keeping the prevailing political situation in mind. It must be remembered that opposition activists cannot take to the street.

“We will take our next course of action soon. We want to carry out a democratic and peaceful movement to restore democracy and the rights of the people,” he added.

Abdul Malek Ratan, general secretary of the Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, another partner of the Oikyafront which was formed just ahead of the national polls, said as thousands of opposition leaders and activists are in jail in false cases, they are waiting for a suitable time to launch street agitation.

“The Oikyafront is not at a standstill. Rather we are observing the situation,” he said, adding that there is no problem within the alliance.

Mostafa Jamal Haider, president of the Jatiya Party (Kazi Zafar), a partner of 20-party alliance, said as the major partner in the alliance, it depends on the BNP to carry out a joint programme. He said the unity of the 20-party alliance remains intact, but it has become non-functional to some extent.  

“The alliance is passing through a crisis period due to the existing political situation,” he said. The JP leader, however, expressed the hope that they would sit together soon and put emphasis on launching an issue-based movement.

Saifuddin Ahmed Moni, general secretary of the Democratic League, also a partner of the 20-party alliance, said the 20-party alliance is at a standstill due to lack of political course of action, and also because of the emergence of the Oikyafront.


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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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