- BNP’s former ally Kalyan Party deserted BNP over election question
- 125 former BNP leaders will join the electoral race
- BNP’s another fraction—Trinamool BNP, BNM will also contest the polls
- Frustration grows inside BNP as one-point movement faltering
Bangladesh Nationalists Party (BNP) and its allies could join the upcoming general elections slated for January 7 as the party failed to gain peoples’ support in favor of their anti-government movement. Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Friday (November 24) said that the possibility of BNP’s participating in the upcoming national election cannot be ruled out.
You can also read: BNP’s Potential Entry Could Reshape Voting Calendar
“There is still a chance of BNP joining the polls. If the BNP may not participate as a party or as an alliance, many from the BNP are preparing to take part in the election. We have information that many will participate in the election,” he added.
Quader said that the BNP has resorted to destroying the economy of the country after failing in politics. “Elections cannot be foiled by launching clandestine attacks. Elections will be held on time and following due procedures,” said Quader.
A section of BNP leaders who believe in democracy already announced to participate in the upcoming general election as they are frustrated on BNP’s strict leadership and failure of ongoing violent movement. 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.
BNP To Split Further If Not Join Polls
Political analysts said that BNP will split into several fractions if the party remain adamant to its decision of boycotting the upcoming elections. As the election race has started, a split is already appeared as the Kalyan Party, a former alliance of BNP vowed to join the polls.
Kalyan Party Chairman Maj Gen (Retd) Syed Muhammad Ibrahim on Wednesday (November 22) floated a new political alliance named “Jukta Front”, and said they will contest the polls. Two other parties in the new alliance are the Jatiya Party (jackfruit symbol) and the Bangladesh Muslim League (hand).
The division could further intensify as grassroot activists and leaders of BNP become frustrated on BNP’s current de facto leader Tarique Rahman as he has assumed sole decision-making authority within the party, sidelining senior party leaders, including the secretary-general.
The partymen think that 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
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal on November 23 said that a significant number of BNP leaders have shown interest in joining the upcoming national election and some are inclined to run as independents.
Despite the BNP’s apparent stance of non-participation, Asaduzzaman said there was a partition within the party leaders. “BNP leaders, disregarding the party command, have divided into factions. Some under the name of Trinamool BNP and some under BNM [Bangladesh Nationalist Movement] are signalling their intention to take part in the election,” he said.
Earlier on November 15, nearly 125 leaders of the BNP 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 former central executive committee member Advocate Khandaker Ahsan Habib said at a press conference. He said the state power should be changed through elections, not in any illegal ways.
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.
Polls May Be Rescheduled If BNP Joins
The Election Commission will consider rescheduling the upcoming national polls if BNP decides to join the electoral race. Election Commissioner Rashida Sultana on Monday (November20) said that, “If they want to join the election, we will surely discuss to find a way.”
“We will make a decision. We will welcome the BNP if it decides to join the polls. We of course respond to its call if the party wants to contest the election,” she added. The election commissioner also said they want an election that is participated by all parties.
On November 15, the EC announced the polls schedule. The last day for submitting nomination forms is November 30 while the forms will be scrutinised on December 1-4 and the last date for candidature withdrawal is December 17.
EC Full Prepared For National Polls
Election Commissioner Rashida Sultana on Friday (November 24) said that the environment for holding the 12th parliamentary elections is fully prepared.
“I hope that the polling environment would not be disturbed in any way,” said the election commissioner. “We have no time to see who is enforcing blockade and hartal. The strikes or other political disturbances cannot disrupt the polling environment,”EC Rashida Sultana
The commission is working to create an environment for voters so that they can cast their votes smoothly in the elections. The election commissioner warned that stern action will be taken if voters are barred from going to the polling station or voting.
She appealed to the voters to fearlessly report anything unlawful to law enforcement agencies. She said: “Any malpractices such as preventing voters from coming to polling stations will be strictly suppressed.”