S M Mizanur Rahman
Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s (BNP) latest activities deepened its internal crisis, developing cracks and fueling uncertainty among the party leaders and workers across the country.
“The present crisis is very acute. And we leaders and workers are living in a state of uncertainty,” a top BNP leader said on Friday.
After the poll debacle, party’s grassroots leaders and activities are facing serious difficulties in chalking out organisational activities in their respective areas as they have not given any specific directives about their future action plans.
Besides, the BNP high-ups rejecting the December 30 general election results are now demanding for a fresh election under a non-party impartial government. However, they are yet to present the grassroots leaders and activists with any action plan as to what they will do if the government does not respond to their demand.
Such activities and suicidal decisions of the party high command are also making grassroots leaders and workers frustrated.
The eight lawmakers-elect, six from BNP and two from its key ally Gano Forum, from the Jatiya Oikyafront are keen to take oath and join parliament. But they have become helpless in the face their respective party’s decision.
“A single lawmaker from the opposition bench can make the parliament vibrant. We (BNP) have only six lawmakers-elect in the 11th parliament. But number doesn’t matter. We all six want to take oath and join parliament in order to raise our voice. But our high command is not allowing us. It is very frustrating,” a lawmaker-elect of BNP said preferring not to be named.
Besides, the two MPs-elect from Dr Kamal Hossain-led Gano Forum have expressed their interest in taking oath as lawmakers of the 11th National Parliament.
Referring to Gano Forum President Dr Kamal’s remarks of “thinking positively” on the issue, Sultan Mohammad Mansur said people have elected them amid great adversity so it is their duty to represent the people in the parliament. In this situation, their role would be positive.
But when BNP asked Dr Kamal Hossain to restrain his party’s lawmakers-elect from taking oath, the two elect lawmakers got frustrated. And such decisions made them angry and helpless.
The party’s senior leaders are now saying the current parliament has not been formed with people’s mandate.
According to party insiders, BNP’s such demands and statements will not bring good results for the party rather it will be isolated from the people further.
On the other hand, as the Election Commission is likely to announce the schedule for the upazila parishad polls in the first week of the current month, the party has not given any specific instruction to the grassroots leaders.
“Earlier our central leaders asked us to not use party electoral symbol ‘paddy sheaf’ in upcoming Upazila polls, which the leaders term a strategy ‘to protect the party’s image’. But we have not been clarified yet whether we the party allow us to contest the poll at all,” Shariful Islam, a local BNP leader and also an upazila chairman of Kishoreganj district said.
According to party insiders, the senior leaders advised that BNP itself should not join the polls under this government.
Boycotting the polls may throw BNP’s organisational capacity into question, the insiders added.
The policymakers opined for leaving the party’s aspirants to contest the upazila polls ‘independently’.
Such confusing statements are also deepening the BNP’s internal crisis
And such irreverent statements have also brought out in the open a deep crisis in the party was mired in: a broader split in the BNP.
The divide became formal when the hard line followers of Tarique Zia are seriously unhappy over Dr Kamal Hossian’s strategy wage movement against Awami League government.
On the other hand, Goyeshwar, Rizvi and others hardliners wants to make crushing blow to Sheikh Hasina right now.
It is clear from their rhetoric. According to their latest observation war is the only solution but Mirza Fakhrul, Moudud and other moderate majority wants a systematic progress of the present political situation.
Country’s political analysts are watching closely the moves taken by the two factions and their allies Dr. Kamal Hossain and others.
As a result uncertainty and confusion have already started looming large over the politics and leadership of the party after the poll debacle.