BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir addresses a rally at Suhrawardy Udyan on Sunday. Photo: BD Post

BD Post Special
BNP on Sunday held a rally, maintaining 22 conditions given by Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), at Suhrawardy Udyan in a peaceful manner.
It seems that they would not choose the path of violence anymore. And they are gradually moving towards the peaceful elections, initiated by the present government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
They might have understood that cooperation with the government would be the wiser course at the moment.
Under the present situation, the movement to unseat government looks too late as it takes at least two years to get prepared to launch such movement.
They neither can afford nor sustain with violence and course of anarchy.
It appears that giving up violence BNP is going to adopt a peaceful path with intent to give a potential challenge to ruling Awami League in the next general elections.
They have calculated that it would be a wiser course of action to negotiate with the government leaving out the so-called alliance with small and name-only parties.
It has come to the fore that the confrontation with the government would bring nothing but massive casualties to BNP as they cannot afford violence keeping their party chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia in jail and her presumed political heir and son Tarique Rahman in exile.
Instead, cooperation will benefit them with the active representation in Parliament with 60-70 seats. Being in opposition they will also get opportunity to come out as a potential force to come to power again maybe within five years.
And there is a saying that cooperation and constructive criticism is the beauty of democracy.
But if BNP takes the path of violence maintaining alliance with Dr Kamal Hossain and Dr Badruddoza Chowdhury, they will drag in only their own downfall.
As the alliance has no constituency, give-and-take with them will give BNP nothing. In other words, if they give at least 50 seats to their alliance, they will suffer inner feud as they already have their own possible candidates in a number of seats.
They can share seats only when they declare war against the government. But it is too late to go for such action.
If they negotiate with the government, it will be far more beneficial.
Participating in the peaceful elections through a constructive cooperation BNP can achieve a significant success in the field of present politics as they are not in a position to wage crusade against the present government.
Confronting the government together with minor parties will cause unrepairable losses for BNP. And they will go ten years back losing their organisational power.
Thus, they will face severe debacle, if they chose the path of violence.
In this way, BNP perhaps has come to the realisation that they need to go for cooperation instead of violence.
Besides, there is enormous pressure on BNP from United Nations and many foreign countries to give up the path of violence and follow the democratic process.
Similarly, the government is also under pressure to ensure participatory and credible elections.

BNP places
7-point demand
Meanwhile, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, who presided over the rally, spelled out seven-point demands and the visions of the party.
The demands include the release of its Chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail and forming a neutral election-time government before the announcement of the election schedule.

In its 12-point vision, the party said it will take steps to improve the country’s political culture, get rid of the politics of vengeance, ensure good governance, democracy and fight against extremism and not allow Bangladesh’s territory to be used to carry out criminal activities against other countries.

Mirza Fakhrul also said they will hold rallies across the country on October 3 and submit a memorandum to deputy commissioners. It will hold rallies in cities on October 4 and submit a memorandum to the divisional commissioners.

The rally formally began around 2pm with recitation from the holy Quran.

Though BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia has been in jail since February 8, the party has made her the chief guest of the rally as a mark of respect to her.

Hundreds of party leaders and activists gathered at the venue in small processions since morning.

Huge law enforcers were deployed in and around the venue to maintain law and order.

On Saturday, the DMP authorities permitted BNP to hold the rally at Suhrawardy Udyan with 22 conditions.