POST TIME: 19 January, 2019 00:00 00 AM
In aftermath of polls, BNP plans reshuffle

In aftermath of polls, BNP plans reshuffle

After its experience in the December 30 parliamentary polls, the BNP is planning to reorganise the party and  carry out a major reshuffle in the leadership at all levels. Young and tested leaders will be picked by holding the national council, according to party insiders. Many long-time leaders from the top level to the bottom who have been seen to be less active during any movement and carrying out political action may be relegated to the background. The party rank and file want reorganisation of the party, said the insiders. The standing committee of the BNP, at a recent meeting, decided to hold its triennial council and take the initiative to reorganise the party.  The party is, however, yet to determine any date for the council or timeframe to complete the task of reorganisation, said some senior party leaders.

Talking to The Independent, they said they would elect their new leadership from among the rank and file who are free from corruption, dedicated and devoted and followers of party founder, the late President Ziaur Rahman.

Sources said the planned national council is likely to be held sometime in March in the absence of its jailed chairperson Khaleda Zia and acting chairman Tarique Rahman, who is in self-exile in London. In that case, Tarique Rahman is likely to conduct the council by holding a video conference. The three-year term of the existing central committee of the party, including the standing committee and the advisory

committee formed about six months after the March 19, 2016 national council, will end in the middle of this year.
The BNP, however, failed to complete forming the 19-member standing committee, the highest policymaking body of the party, even within its three-year tenure. Two of its standing committee members - Brig Gen (Retd) ASM Hannan Shah and Tariqul Islam - have died in the meantime, while another standing committee member, Salahuddin Ahmed, is in India, where he is facing trial for illegal trespass after going “missing” from Dhaka in 2015.
Besides, two other members - party chairperson Khaleda Zia in now serving a 17-year jail term in two corruption cases since February 8 last year, while her son and party acting chairman, Tarique  Rahman, also convicted in corruption and August 21st grenade attack case, is in self-exile in London
BNP standing committee member, Lt Gen (Retd) Mahbubur Rahman, said they are contemplating holding the party’s national council to reorganise the party.
“We want to hold our national council. Preparation for the council is going on. Holding the national council is important to reorganise the party,” he said.
The former army chief said all measures would be taken at an appropriate time.
Replying to a question, he said the leadership should be chosen through ballot to get a vibrant committee. The devoted, dedicated and real followers of Ziaur Rahman should be accommodated in the committee, he observed.
BNP vice-chairman Mohammed Shajahan also said that they are taking the initiative to bring about changes in the leadership in a democratic manner.
“We will try to hold the party’s national council if the time and situation permit us,” he said. The BNP leader further said the party decided to bring about a reshuffle in the party rank and file from the bottom. The BNP had named the members of the national standing committee on August 6, nearly four and a half months into its term that began with the party’s National Council held in March. Later, it also announced down-sizing of the 502-member national executive committee with 36 vice-chairmen’s posts and 73-member advisory committee.