Long-standing intra-party feud and political indecision have almost crippled the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its present leadership.
Wrong activities over the decades extremely weekend the party. BNP has now become too weak to meet the national demand.
“The party is now isolated from the root as it is creating crisis for itself by taking stance against the country and the people,” a highly-placed source in the party said.
Being frustrated and demoralised, the BNP in connivance with several vested quarters and extreme communal groups, has got into a quagmire.
It is stablished that government alone cannot make democracy a success anywhere. The main components of democracy are: government, opposition political parties and the people.
The opposition parties have a major role to play in achieving democracy. But very unfortunately, the nation observes that the BNP as a main opposition political party has taken the path of violence instead of pursuing democracy. BNP’s nationwide political programmes turned into violence on several occasions, unprecedentedly killing innocent people by petrol bombs.
It is ironic that despite being the second largest political party in the country, the BNP never followed the democratic norms. Rather, it always opted for the violent ways and tried to create anarchy and make the situation of the country instable.
As a result, the party itself has lost its acceptability among the people of the country and democracy also has become weakened.
It was the BNP, which was responsible for creating the anarchic situation in the country that led to the declaration of emergency in January 11, 2007, popularly known as 1/11 changeover.
After the prime minister asked her party leaders and activists to get prepared for the next general election, the BNP is trying to gear up activities keeping the next elections in mind.
The party has been demanding reconstitution of the Election Commission for, what they said, free and fair election though the government has already formed a search committee to find out acceptable personalities for the commission.
The BNP has been criticized widely at home and abroad for its role in the change in the political arena of the country.
Besides, the party’s violent activities during its rule or period in opposition between 2001 and 2015 created panic among people. As a result, the party lost people’s trust.
The BNP has been sharply divided on Jamaat. The pro-Tarique group is inclined to Jamaat while the other senior and experienced leaders and activists are trying give the party a nationalist character. The rift is worrying its already demoralised grass roots.
The conviction of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia in graft cases has also dealt a big blow to the party.
Besides, the crisis-ridden party is now facing a fresh challenge as senior leaders, who played crucial role during the crisis, are annoyed and unhappy with the party’s acting chairman Tarique Rahman’s non-political and dubious activities.
The senior leaders have already made their stand clear that the party cannot be run by the leadership staying abroad.
Most of the standing committee members want a change in the party leadership, including the post of party secretary general, through holding a council to stage a comeback in politics.
As per the BNP constitution, the party will have to hold its national council after every three years. But the party violated such provision repeatedly.
According to sources, the main problem of the BNP is its two-faced policy. It has been playing a dual role since it was formed by former Army ruler Ziaur Rahman.
Although the party externally shows its love for the country and vocal about the Bengali nation and its independence and sovereignty, but actually the party has always been working against those issues. The party has always been involved in politics against the independence of Bangladesh. It is now being clear to all that BNP’s founder Ziaur Rahman directly or indirectly helped the process of the killing of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Ziaur Rahman had also helped and rehabilitated the killers of Bangabandhu.
Khaleda Zia, the wife of Ziaur Rahman, also had been following the same policies while their son Tarique Rahman, who is now mainly taking care of the party, is following in the footsteps of his father.
It is widely known that Tarique Rahman wanted to kill Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina through a heinous grenade attack in 2004 while Sheikh Hasina was the opposition leader in Parliament.
After all such atrocious acts, a larger number of leaders and most of the activists of the BNP think that the party should change its policies. It should regain its image and acceptability to the people.
As a result, a division in the BNP has become clear to all. One of the two groups led by Tarique Rahman wants to proceed along with Jamaat-e-Islami.
On the other hand, another group, combined with some senior, dedicated leaders and who actually have faith in the country’s War of Liberation, wants the exclusion of the Jamaat from the BNP-led alliance.