The family of late Sayeed Iskander and Shamim Iskander, two brothers of Khaleda Zia, have been disappointed as none of their candidates were nominated by Tarique Zia.
Though BNP has given nominations to more than eight hundred aspirants, none has been selected from the list of the two brothers’ family, as a result of which a family feud has escalated among the family members of Khaleda Zia.
Party insiders claimed that with the consent of convicted BNP chief Khaleda Zia, her family members submitted two lists of twenty candidates to BNP secretary general Mirza Fakrul Islam Alamgir.
But they were not in the list of party nomination awardees for contesting in the next general election. Tarique Zia did not give a single nomination from the list of twenty candidates.
The issue has created disagreements within the Khaleda Zia family. Khaleda Zia’s younger brother Shamim Iskander and other family members have accused Tarique Zia of exercising autocratic power in making party’s decisions. Dissatisfaction and anger have intensified within Zia family over the nomination issue. According to relevant sources, Shamim Iskander provided a list of 14 members to BNP secretary general Mizra Fakhrul Islam for nominating in the election. Wife of Khaleda Zia’s elder brother late Sayeed Iskander also provided a list of 6 leaders for the nomination to party general secretary. These two lists were prepared following a consultation with Khaleda Zia.
Khaleda Zia asked her family members to send these names to Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir. When her family members met her in the Dhaka Central jail, Khaleda Zia also assured them of giving nomination from the list. She also promised to give necessary instruction to Mirza Fakhrul Islam about these leaders. BNP sources said BNP senior leaders met with Khaleda Zia after finalizing the decision to go to the polls. In that meeting, Khaleda Zia ordered Mirza Fakhrul Islam to nominate some members of her family. In response, Mirza Fakhrul confirmed Begum Zia that her order would be executed. Following the meetings, Shamim Iskander and other members of her family submitted lists to Mirza Fakhrul Islam. They also personally requested BNP secretary general to nominate some close relatives of Khaleda Zia. Secretary general also assured them of their final nomination. However, acting chief of BNP Tarique Zia took the leadership of the nomination board on Skype. Tarique Zia has nominated none of those 20 persons primarily. After the announcement of the primary nomination, Shamin Iskander wanted to know the reason from Mirza Fakhrul Islam. According to a reliable source, BNP secretary general expressed his regret to them saying that they had nothing to do as Tarique Zia made all the final decisions regarding the nomination issue. But Fakhrul Islam’s words could not satisfy Shamim Iskander and wife of late Sayed Iskander. After that, Khaleda Zia’s relatives stopped meeting with her in jail. A family member of Khaleda Zia said, “We are not having a good relation with Tarique Zia for a long time.” According to him, “Despite Khaleda Zia’s interest, no member of Khaleda Zia family can get involved in BNP due to Tarique Zia’s objection.” He also added that after the arrest of Khaleda Zia, Tarique Zia is not maintaining any contact with his relatives. A number of credible sources of BNP said that Tarique Zia has captured full authority over BNP and now words of Khaleda Zia do not have any value in BNP. According to that leader, before going to the prison, Khaleda Zia handed over BNP’s authority to Tarique Zia. And role of Khaleda Zia in making party’s decisions was merely on the papers. The nomination process of the 11th parliamentary election has eventually established Tarique Zia the supreme leader of BNP.