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24 May, 2019 12:47:45 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 24 May, 2019 01:17:29 PM


‘Contradictory decisions’ put oppn alliances in dilemma

‘Mistrust among the party’s policymakers developed over Tarique’s sudden decision to join JS’
Rafiqul Islam Azad, Dhaka
‘Contradictory decisions’ put oppn alliances in dilemma

Contradictory decisions taken by the BNP has put the 20-Party Alliance and the Jatiya Oikyafront in a quandary following the last general election, leaving party leaders and activists in despair, according to insiders.  The failure to mobilise people and take up a firm stand to face the government has created mistrust in the two coalitions, where the BNP is a major partner. Common workers of the political partners in these two groups are confused over the recent proceedings.

Some parties the Bangladesh Jatiya Party, led by barrister Andaleev Rahman Partha, has already left the 20-Party Alliance. The Bangladesh Krishak Sramik Janata League (BKSJL), led by Bangabir Kader Siddiqui, is likely to follow suit.

On May 9, Kader Siddiqui said that his party will leave the alliance on June 8 if the Oikyafront does not settle the prevailing inconsistencies by next month.

The exodus of parties may continue of some definite political actions are not blueprinted soon. A BNP leader, however, termed the situation as a lull in politics that generally follows a general election. He claimed that political activities will soon be visible against the government as the people have rejected the last general election.

GanaSastha Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury blamed the BNP standing committee for its failure to take an appropriate decision over joining Parliament.

He termed Tarique Rahman’s decision to join Parliament as right, but mentioned that it was not done following a proper way.

The pro-BNP intellectual and veteran freedom fighter stated that the ’contradictory decisions’ have pushed the BNP and its allies towards an awkward situation.

He said the BNP and its allies should try to realise a midterm election.

A senior BNP leader, preferring anonymity, said mistrust and lack of confidence among the party's policymakers have developed over party acting chairman Tarique Rahman's sudden decision to join Parliament. The 20-Party Alliance and the Oikyafront are also becoming inactive due to lack of any political course of action and future directives, he added.

BNP standing committee member Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said different opinions exist in a multiparty democracy. He also termed different opinions within a party or alliance as a pre-condition of democracy.

Replying to a question, the elderly leader said he does not believe that there is any serious differences among central leaders. He said any misunderstanding brewing among the coalitions can be resolved through talks.  

Jatiya Party (Kazi Zafar) chairman Mostafa Jamal Haider said the current situation in opposition politics is normal following “an electoral disaster”.  He termed the prevailing situation as a lull in politics. “It’s only temporary and will pass sooner rather than later,” he added.

The former minister expressed optimism that the political scenario would change after Eid.

Habibur Rahman Talukder, general secretary of the BKSJL, said the Oikyafront has failed to fulfil the hopes and aspirations of the people.

He also said the BKSJL sent letters to each of the partners in the Oikyafront to remove inconsistency in its activities. Otherwise, they would review whether they would be in the BNP-led coalition. “We’ll take our next course of action at the party’s extended meeting slated for after Eid,” he added.

The two opposition alliances faced an awkward situation when the BNP and the Ganoforum, two parties in the Oikyafront, managed to obtain only eight constituencies from among the total of 300 parliamentary seats in the December 30 election.

With six seats won by the BNP and two by the Ganaforum, the Oikyafront rejected the polls and barred its lawmakers-elect from taking oath as members of Parliament. But two Ganoforum lawmakers-elect and later one BNP lawmaker-elect joined the House by ignoring their party directives. This forced the alliance to backtrack on their decision. Finally, BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman unilaterally allowed party lawmakers-elect to join Parliament at the last moment.

Besides, party stalwarts have become stunned by the ‘unilateral decision’ of BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, who was elected from the Bogura-6 constituency, to abstain from taking oath as a member of Parliament.

On the other hand, the BNP conspicuously grabbed its one seat reserved for women allocated on its proportionate representation in Parliament. This has also created curiosity among the partners of the coalitions.

On Wednesday, the BNP again nominated five leaders, including jailed party chairperson Khaleda Zia, to contest the by-poll tothe  Bogura-6 constituency that fell vacant due to the party secretary general’s unwillingness to join the House. The former premier reportedly refused to contest the election.

Political analysts say all the developments in the two alliances, particularly the steps taken by the BNP, have ultimately given legitimacy to the present Parliament.




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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.

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