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18 March, 2019 00:00 00 AM

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BNP not keen to hold nat’l council now

Rafiqul Islam Azad, Dhaka
BNP not keen to hold nat’l council now

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) was unlikely to hold its national council anytime soon in the absence of party chairperson Khaleda Zia, who is in prison, and acting chairman Tarique Rahman in self-exile in London. The incumbent 19-member standing committee and 502-member national executive committee of the party are set to complete their three-year tenure tomorrow (March 19).

BNP had held its sixth national council to select the committees on March 19, 2016.

Talking to The Independent, senior party leaders said they were not thinking about holding the national council at this moment as Khaleda was in jail. Rather, they were giving priority to reorganise the party at the grassroots and wage a movement to free the former premier.

The BNP leaders alleged that there was no democracy in the country at present and the environment was not conducive to holding the party’s national council now.

Some leaders, however, maintained that the party should organise its national council in consultation with the chairperson, even if it was held after three or six months of the expiry of the incumbent committee for the sake of democracy within the party. As part of the BNP’s preparation for its national council, effective measures should be taken to reorganise the party at all levels, they added. The BNP and its part ners in the 20-Party Alliance and Jatiya Oikyafront had won only eight seats out of the 300 constituencies in the December 30 elections. The opposition had alleged vote engineering and rejected the results.

BNP standing committee member Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said they were not thinking of holding the party’s national council at this moment. “We want to hold our council only after freeing our chairperson (Khaleda),” he said. Khandaker said the BNP was now giving priority to reorganising the party at the district level as well as its frontal organisations.

He mentioned that as part of the reorganisation plans, BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman was also holding regular meetings with grassroots leaders through Skype. “We want to launch a movement to free our chairperson and thousands of party leaders and activists who were sent to jail after being implicated in false cases,” he added.

Speaking off the record, a senior BNP leader also confirmed that there would be no council when Khaleda was in jail. He, however, maintained that despite the party passing through a bad time after the election, it should organise the national council in consultation with the party chairperson even after three or six months of the schedule time for democratic practice in the party.  He further said the party should fill up the posts that had remained vacant for a long time. BNP vice-chairman Shamsuzzaman Dudu said there was no congenial atmosphere to hold the national council.

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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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