February 24, 2024, 4:01 pm

Mohammad Al Amin

2023-12-07 13:46:04 BdST

Allies in conflict with BNP

Allies seem to have come into conflict with BNP over various issues, including the strategy of movement and move to bring Jamaat and other Islamist parties to the anti-government platform, as they seek to foil the general election slated for 7 January.

BNP wants to bring all opposition parties, including Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and other Islamist organisations, under the greater platform to carry out their simultaneous movement.

But Ganatantra Mancha, a six-party opposition coalition, does not agree with the decision.

Besides, the allies have proposed going for such programmes that can ensure public participation in their movement but BNP continues to observe blockade and hartal that have failed to turn up the heat on movement.

“At this moment, we can’t say whether all opposition parties will join our simultaneous movement in the days to come. Though some parties are outside our movement, they’re carrying out programmes on the same demand,” BNP Standing Committee member Nazrul Islam Khan said.

He said 39 opposition parties in a meeting on 30 November agreed with BNP’s movement. The parties include Jamaat, National Democratic Movement (NDM), Islami Andolan Bangladesh, AB Party, Left Democratic Alliance (LDA) and some other Islamist parties, which are outside their simultaneous movement.

Saiful Huq, general secretary of Revolutionary Workers Party of Bangladesh, said, “BNP wants to carry out movement with all other opposition parties under a greater platform but we viewed that this decision won’t be wise.”

BNP insiders said the party is trying to bring all the opposition parties who have already boycotted the election under a greater platform and carry out the movement to realise their demand for resignation of the government to pave the way for holding the polls under a caretaker administration.

The party has already started discussion with other parties, including Jamaat, to bring them under their platform to forge a greater movement to realise their demand.

BNP leaders in a meeting with Ganatantra Mancha on 3 December proposed bringing other parties under the platform but it leaders disagreed with the proposal and took time to take further decision, the sources added.

The party also talked to the LDA, an alliance of leftist political parties, including Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) and Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal (BSD), urging them to join the platform but they did not agree with the proposal describing Jamaat as a barrier, said an alliance leader, wishing anonymity.   

Jamaat Assistant Secretary General Abdul Halim said, “BNP wants to carry out the movement under a greater platform taking together all opposition parties. The issue is now under discussion. We haven’t yet taken decision in this regard.”

He said they will intensify the movement gradually ahead of the election to compel the government to meet their demand.

Although they are not officially involved in simultaneous movement with BNP, Jamaat started observing same programmes from 28 October last on the same issues.

Islami Andolan Bangladesh has also boycotted the election and has been carrying on separate programmes demanding that the election be held under a national government.

“There’re ideological differences between BNP and Islami Andolan Bangladesh. The Majlish-e-Shura of our party will sit in a meeting in Barishal on Friday to take decision about the movement strategy,” Gazi Ataur Rahman, spokesperson for the party, said.

Another BNP Standing Committee member Abdul Moyeen Khan said they are trying to bring change in their movement programmes.

The party sources said BNP will launch the ultimate phase of their movement from 18 December to foil the election.

The allies have also asked BNP to make programmes more effective with maximum participation of its leaders and activists on the streets, the sources added.

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