As Bangladesh gears up for the 12th National Election, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) finds itself under intense scrutiny. While the party has been fervently attempting to disrupt the democratic process through a campaign of violence, critical analysis reveals a shocking neglect of legal obligations and a troubling descent into chaos. Dissecting the complexities surrounding BNP, a tale of internal strife, lack of grassroots support and strategic blunders emerges.
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To understand the current state of affairs, one must revisit BNP’s historical footprint. The party has been linked to incidents of violence and civil unrest, creating a tapestry of violence and internal conflict that demands scrutiny. The anarchy in their track record is evident as periods of relative calm are disrupted by sudden surges of aggressive political maneuvers.
Legal Obligations Ignored
BNP’s blatant disregard for legal obligations forms a perplexing backdrop to its current predicament. The Representation of the People Order (RPO) mandates political parties to hold their national council every three years. Shockingly, BNP has not convened its highest decision-making body for over seven years, violating the very order that ensures the legitimacy of its political existence. The gravity of this neglect becomes evident as BNP, preoccupied with its violent and criminal campaign of arson and vandalism, ignores the impending legal repercussions.
Boycotting the 12th parliamentary election places BNP at the precipice of electoral jeopardy. The RPO stipulates that failure to participate in two consecutive parliamentary elections could lead to the cancellation of a party’s registration. While BNP participated in the 11th parliamentary election, their current stance raises concerns about the future of their political legitimacy. Moreover, BNP’s involvement in widespread violence and sabotage during previous movements raises questions about their fitness for participation in the democratic process.
BNP’s Involvement in Violence
A defining feature of BNP’s recent history is its involvement in violent activities, including arson, petrol bomb attacks, and blockades in 2013 and 2015. The scale of their actions is striking, as the party oscillates between portraying itself as a champion of democracy and engaging in activities that undermine the very principles it claims to uphold. The repercussions of these actions extend beyond public safety concerns, potentially leading to the cancellation of BNP’s registration under section 11 (Kha) of the RPO. BNP’s campaign of violence is not a mere consequence of spontaneous events; rather, it stems from calculated decisions. The party has been accused of orchestrating and endorsing violence as a tool to assert its influence and stifle opposition.
BNP’s alliances further complicate the political landscape. The party’s collaborations with groups known for their radical ideologies create a hypocritic scenario. On one hand, BNP portrays itself as a moderate political force, while on the other, its associations reveal a its support alignment with factions that advocate for more extreme measures. Its alliance with Jamaat, in particular and its past sponsorship of terrorists such as JMB are of particular concern. These controversial associations raises the question of whether a party that sponsors terrorism and communal violence is even worthy of running for elections.
A Party in Stasis
- Last National Council: 2016
- Last Participation in National Election: 2018
The failure to hold a national council for almost seven and a half years raises questions about BNP’s commitment to internal democracy. While the party’s constitution mandates the council every three years, the leadership’s reluctance to adhere to this obligation confounds both members and political analysts. Thee demoralizing effect this has on party members cannot be emphasized enough; a party that does not practice internal democracy will, inevitably, stagnate and wither; a phenomenon that is becoming increasingly obvious within BNP.
The failure in leadership dynamics is evident as the high command, particularly acting chairman Tarique Rahman, appears hesitant to convene the council in his absence, potentially out of fear of losing control and influence. Tarique’s paranoia is not without basis, his autocratic rule and megalomania has been the root cause for defection and dissatisfaction within the party; to the point where even the current vice chairman of BNP openly criticized him.
What does BNPs failure to hold a General council meeting effect it’s legal status? How strong are the chances of BNP losing its registration as a result? Is there a previous precedent for such occurrence?Any major political party should organize its Council meetings regularly. This is not only a Election Commission directive, it is also in the interest of the party’s members and supporters. Failure to do so will erode democratic values within the party.
If this trend continues, it will very likely hurt the party.
Within the ranks of BNP, a simmering discontent looms over the party’s deviation from legal norms and internal democratic processes. Many leaders and activists express concern about the future of the party, advocating for the much-needed national council to revitalize BNP. However, a climate of fear stifles open dissent, with individuals wary of losing their positions if they speak out against the high command’s blatant disregard for the RPO and the party’s constitution.
As BNP grapples with its campaign of violence and internal turmoil, the legal quagmire it finds itself in raises serious questions about the party’s commitment to democratic principles and internal democracy. This critical analysis highlights the internal strife and anarchy within BNP’s. The impending legal consequences and internal dissent within the party underscore the need for a comprehensive reassessment of BNP’s role in Bangladesh’s political landscape.