- Nearly 125 BNP leaders to participate in polls
- Trinamool BNP to nominate candidates for all 300 seats
- Dissatisfaction grows over Tarique’s absolute leadership
A section of BNP leaders who believe in democracy are now in favor of participating in the upcoming general election as they are frustrated on BNP’s strict leadership and failure of ongoing violent movement.
A number of BNP leaders are also frustrated at the “whimsical decisions” of Tarique Rahman while they think, in the absence of Khaleda Zia, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has already turned into a vessel without a captain.
BNP now facing an acute leadership crisis as its chairperson and former prime minister Khaleda Zia is ailing and stands discredited after her conviction in a corruption case for siphoning off money meant for orphans.
Her son and acting chief Tarique Rahman is leading a fugitive life in London, convicted of planning a failed assassination of Sheikh Hasina with his complicity in planning the 2004 grenade attack on an Awami League rally established in court.
Tarique runs the BNP virtually from London, and many leaders feel he is out of touch with ground realities in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh now gearing for 12th general elections scheduled for January 7, 2023 as the Election Commissions said they will ensure a free fair, and credible election by any means, and independent polls body has the capacity, boosted by the law.
BNP and its ally Jamaat-E-Islami announced to boycott of the elections and stuck with the ailing blockade-hartal movement without peoples’ spontaneous participation.
The violent blockade movement has already claimed more than 11 peoples’ lives including policemen and journalists and caused widespread destruction of public properties including the burning of more than 154 vehicles across the country since October 28.
A decade of blunders and wrong decisions has led to the BNP’s growing loss of influence and the lack of confidence is manifest in avoiding electoral battles.
Dissatisfaction grows over Tarique’s absolute leadership
In recent years, Tarique Rahman has assumed sole decision-making authority within the BNP, effectively sidelining senior party leaders, including the secretary-general. This consolidation of power has led to growing dissatisfaction among BNP leaders, diminishing the party’s appeal and support among its followers.
Major (retired) Hafiz Uddin Ahmed has openly revolted against Tarique Rahman, expressing anger stating that BNP leaders have been made mere pawns of Tarique’s whimsical desires and disastrous decisions.
Hafiz Uddin Ahmed, also a veteran freedom fighter, said, “Tarique Rahman treats leaders of the party as his mere slaves. To him only sycophants and those who licks his boots are given preference while he even does not show due respect to those leaders who are in the party for decades. I have held the position of a vice president of BNP for the last 23 years, while my juniors got promoted. It is no more a party. It is Tarique Rahman’s private limited enterprise”.
Major Hafiz further said, “Only those without any sense of dignity and self-esteem can continue in BNP’s politics. Tarique Rahman has been imposing his disastrous decisions and suicidal politics on those leaders. No one dares to utter a word against such unacceptable behavior of Tarique”.
He also decided to retire from politics soon.
BNP leaders to join polls as independent candidates
A significant number of BNP leaders are now looking to contest the polls opposing BNP’s paths of violence and anarchy instead of the democratic process.
Nearly 125 leaders of the BNP on Wednesday (November 15) announced that they will participate in the upcoming general election as independent candidates under a platform named Swatantra Ganatantra Mancha.
“We don`t support BNP`s violence and anarchy in the name of the blockade,” BNP central executive committee member Advocate Khandaker Ahsan Habib said at a press conference in the city`s Sky City Hotel in the capital.
He said the state power should be changed through elections, not in any illegal ways.
BNP central executive committee member Barrister AKM Fakrul Islam, former trustee of Hindu Religious Welfare Trust Swapan Sarker, and former vice-president of Chhatra Dal Monirul Islam Minthu, among others, were present.
Moreover, the Trinamool BNP, a newly formed party mostly of former BNP leaders and activists, has announced that they will nominate candidates for all 300 constituencies in the polls.
As a result of the adamant attitude of the party’s top leaders, many mid-level leaders as well as the rank and file of BNP are now deserting the party and will participate in the upcoming polls to make their future leaders.
Political analysts said that the BNP may join the polls in the last hour otherwise the party could split into several parts or many party leaders will contest the election as independent candidates.