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Habibullah Mizan
One can hardly see BNP politicians on the campaign trail. While all political parties are busy going door to door in frantic election campaign as the voting date is knocking at the door, BNP leaders can hardly be seen in localities.
Analyzing the issue, some leading political observers hinted that the anti-Awami League political platform may withdraw from the election race. To avoid a miserable defeat may be the reason behind BNP’s possible boycott of the next parliamentary polls.
According to EC schedule, the national election would be held on December 30 and the last date of withdrawing nomination paper is December 9. But till today, Oikyafront leaders are absent in election campaign.
Party sources disclosed that most of the BNP leaders and activists are still in confusion whether BNP will seriously participate in the polls.
BNP conducted several surveys in the last six months. In all the surveys, the results predicted that there is no possibility for them to win in more than 35 seats. BNP leadership is fearing that like in the 2008 parliamentary elections, BNP may lose the position of opposition in the parliament.
Instead, Jatiya Party is leading against BNP in all the surveys.
Earlier on Tuesday, the High Court verdict has barred people from contesting election who were convicted for more than two years, with their appeals pending with the courts. It has brought miseries to Bangladesh Nationalist Party as it has apparently shut BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia out of the forthcoming national polls.
The HC passed the order in response to an appeal seeking a stay order on the imprisonment of five BNP leaders: Amanullah Aman, Dr AZM Zahid Hossain, Wadud Bhuiyan, Md Moshiur Rahman and Md Abdul Wahab.
Party sources claimed that some senior BNP leaders are also advising party policy makers to quit from polls after making dozens of allegations against the Election Commissions and the government.
Hardliners are putting pressure on BNP leadership to boycott the polls if Khaleda Zia is not allowed to take part in the polls.
But BNP acting chairman Tarique Zia cannot directly approve election boycotting for two major reasons. One, he has taken huge amount of money from the nomination seekers. If now he announces to boycott the polls, there will be the question of returning the money to the BNP nominees. But Tarique Zia is not interested in returning a single penny. Another reason is there is pressure on BNP from the diplomats for joining polls. BNP cantnot directly ignore the pressure from the diplomats. Considering these two reasons, BNP at this stage cannot boycott election. They are expecting that in the coming days, there will be some excuses to boycott the polls. BNP may boycott the polls using these excuses at the last stage of the polls.
Dr Kamal Hossian also knows of all these plans of his key alliance partners BNP. This is why, neither he, nor his daughter Barrister Sara Hossain are participating in the elections.
Ends/HB Mizan