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Mohammad Zakaria
Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is facing a new challenge with regard to distributing seats among its political allies.
BNP has planned to give away 60 seats to the proposed alliance headed by two senior most leaders of the country, but most of its own leaders feel that the alliance candidates may win three seats at the most.
In this way, 57 seats may go to the government camp in the game of alliance politics, they suspect.
BNP thinks most of the candidates do not have the required popularity and strength to win the election against strong candidates of the opponent parties.
Experts are of the opinion that if BNP led alliance joins the polls, candidates of its partners will win in maximum three constituencies as no heavy weight candidates are in the alliance.
A new coalition formed Jukto Front headed by Bikalpadhara Bangladesh president AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir held talks with various political parties, including former president Dr AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury-led Bikalpadhara Bangladesh, ASM Rob-led Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, Kader Siddique-led Krishak Sramik Janata League, and Mahmudur Rahman Manna-led Nagorik Oikya for the formation of broader alliance.
Sources said only Badruddoza Chowdhury, Mahi B Chowdhury and Dr Kamal Hossain may win the polls from their respective parliamentary seats.
BNP has plans to give 60 parliamentary constituencies among its political alliance in the 11th parliamentary polls. However, BNP is yet to take final decision whether it will join the parliamentary polls or not.
Regarding the issue, there has been created chaos situation among the party leaders of BNP and alliance parties.
In 2008 general elections, BNP gave 40 seats to its alliance parties.
Leaders of 20-party alliance led by BNP are now debating over giving 60 parliamentary seats to its alliance partners as there are no heavy weight candidates in the coalition except three — AQM Badruddozza Chowdhury, Dr Kamal Hossain and Mahi B Chowdhury.
If BNP gives 60 seats to its so called allies, 100 promising leaders will revolt from the party, sources said.
Seeking anonymity, a senior leader of the party said BNP is big and major political party in the country and they have strength to contest the polls in 300 parliamentary seats. Several candidates are ready for contesting the polls from their respective parliamentary constituencies.
If BNP gives away 60 parliamentary seats to its alliance parties, it will be counter-productive for them and will create crisis in the party, he added.
The party chairperson Khaleda Zia is in jail and acting chairperson Tarique Rahman is a fugitive in London. The court will deliver verdict on August 21 grenade attack on October 10 where Tarique is prime accused.
If Khaleda Zia and Tarique Rahman do not take part in the next polls, some of the alliance members will however take part to maintain their political influence in their respective electoral areas.
If the BNP as a party does not contest in the polls, a big chunk of party members may on their own participate in the polls. If 40-50 leaders contest the polls by using the ‘Paddy Sheaf’ symbol of the BNP, it will convey the message of a party divided to grassroots supporters.