In a surprising turn of events, 66 leaders and activists from the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) have decided to participate in the city corporation elections in Sylhet, Barishal, and Khulna, defying the party’s official decision to boycott the polls. This act of defiance has created a wave of indecisiveness within the party and poses significant challenges to maintaining party discipline.
The participation of these BNP leaders in the city corporation elections reflects the internal divisions and conflicting perspectives within the party. While some leaders believe that boycotting the polls is the most effective way to voice their opposition to the government, others see electoral participation as an opportunity to engage with the public and strengthen their political standing.
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This difference in opinion has fuelled internal debates and discussions within the BNP, leading to a state of indecisiveness and uncertainty about the party’s future course of action. The varying viewpoints among BNP leaders further complicate the party’s decision-making process and raise questions about its ability to present a unified front in the upcoming 12th national elections. The ongoing internal struggle highlights the delicate balancing act the BNP must navigate as it seeks to assert its political influence while maintaining internal cohesion.
Disciplinary action looms as BNP leaders contest despite boycott decision
Despite the BNP’s boycott decision for mayor and councillor posts in the city corporations, 39 leaders in Sylhet, 19 in Barishal, and eight in Khulna have chosen to run in the elections. Of the 39 local leaders of different strata of BNP, one is contesting in mayor post, 34 in councillor post and 3 in reserved women’s seat. Among them are Kamrul Ahsan, who is contesting for mayor post. Md Salah Uddin, a member of BNP’s ward no 27 unit, will contest in the mayoral post. Zahidur Rahman, member of city BNP’s convening committee, said, “The show-cause letters have been sent to the respective candidates. They were asked to reply in writing within 24 hours of receiving letters as to why they took part in the polls violating the party’s decision. “The party leadership has issued show-cause notices to these leaders and activists, indicating their intention to take disciplinary action against them for violating the party’s stance.
The participation of these leaders in the elections, despite the boycott decision, has created an atmosphere of uncertainty and confusion within the BNP. It underscores the challenges the party faces in presenting a cohesive and unified front in the face of a government that it perceives as oppressive. Furthermore, the party leadership will need to carefully consider the ramifications of taking disciplinary action against these leaders. While such action may be seen as necessary to uphold party discipline, it runs the risk of further fragmenting the party and eroding trust and loyalty among its members. The BNP leadership must navigate this delicate situation with tact, ensuring that any disciplinary measures taken are fair, transparent, and aimed at restoring party unity rather than exacerbating divisions.
Ariful Haque Chowdhury’s late withdrawal adds to the confusion
Ariful Haque Chowdhury, the current mayor of Sylhet and a prominent BNP leader, announced his boycott of the polls in line with the party’s decision. However, his decision came after 39 other BNP leaders had already registered as candidates, highlighting a lack of unity and clarity within the party’s ranks. BNP sent notices to 32 leaders reiterating the party’s decision to boycott the polls. While 14 leaders heeded the party’s directive and withdrew from the electoral race, 39 others have remained resolute in their decision to contest in the polls.
The fifth Sylhet city corporation election is slated to take place on June 21st, with a substantial voter base of 486,605 spread across 42 wards. According to sources from the office of the returning officer, the list of candidates has been officially finalized. Among the contenders, a total of seven individuals will compete for the esteemed position of mayor. Aside from three independent candidates, one representative each from the Awami League, Jatiya Party, Islami Andolon Bangladesh, and Zaker Party will partake in the race for the mayoral post.
Repeated warnings ignored: Should BNP reconsider boycott movement?
The BNP leadership has repeatedly urged its leaders and activists not to participate in the elections, communicating their decision through written letters and verbal instructions. Despite these warnings, a significant number of leaders have disregarded the party’s stance. The names of those who have chosen to contest the elections will be submitted to the central committee for further action and potential disciplinary measures.
The indecisiveness and defiance displayed by BNP leaders in the city corporation elections raises questions about the party’s readiness for the upcoming 12th national elections. The internal disarray and lack of unity could undermine the BNP’s ability to present a strong opposition and effectively challenge the ruling party. These factors may weaken the party’s electoral prospects and have a lasting impact on the upcoming national elections.
While the participation of BNP leaders in the elections goes against the party’s decision to boycott, it also opens up opportunities for the party to maintain a presence in the political arena and engage with the electorate. In light of this, it becomes imperative for the BNP’s central committee to reconsider the withdrawal decision and find a balance between maintaining discipline within the party and actively participating in the political process.
To conclude, the defiance of 66 BNP leaders in the Sylhet, Barishal, and Khulna city corporation elections has created a sense of indecisiveness and challenges party discipline. The party’s decision to boycott the polls faces internal resistance, risking disciplinary action against the leaders involved. The implications of this indecisiveness on the upcoming 12th national elections remain uncertain. However, it is crucial for the BNP to reassess its withdrawal decision and navigate the complexities of maintaining discipline while remaining politically engaged.