BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia is set to instruct her party leaders and activists tomorrow to prepare for the next parliamentary elections and also to be ready for a movement in case the government tries to hold one-sided polls “again”.
She would come up with the instruction at the party’s national executive committee meeting to be held at a city hotel tomorrow, five days before the delivery of the verdict in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case against her.
“Madam [Khaleda] in her speech will also explain BNP’s politics in the coming days,” BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told The Daily Star yesterday. “She will call for making preparation to face any challenge.”
A total of 502 executive committee members, including BNP’s central and district leaders as well as the presidents and general secretaries of the party’s front and associate bodies, will meet tomorrow for the first time since the formation of the committee in 2016.
The BNP chairperson, who would chair the meeting starting at 10:00am, would listen to the grassroots leaders and give them guidelines for the next course of action, said party sources.
Khaleda, who is facing 32 cases, has appeared before a special court in Bakshibazar in connection with the Zia Charitable Trust graft case for three consecutive days this week.
There have already been a lot of discussions in the country’s political arena about February 8, when the verdict in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case would be delivered.
The party as well as the law enforcers are highly cautious ahead of the day.
Police have a hunch about BNP men trying to create anarchy if the verdict goes against Khaleda. The party, on the other hand, alleged that the law enforcers have launched a crackdown on its men ahead of the verdict.
Ruhul Quddus Talukdar Dulu, organising secretary of the BNP, said, “The government has set a trap to push the BNP into the path of confrontation. Creating anarchic situation in the country, it is going to pass the blame on the BNP and hold a one-sided election again. But this time, we will not give it any such scope.”
The BNP had boycotted the January 5, 2014 parliamentary elections, demanding the election be held under a non-partisan interim government. A total of 153 lawmakers were elected uncontested in that polls.
Sheikh Sujat Mia, an executive committee member of the party, said, “We want to participate in the election and this time, we will not leave the field without challenging…”.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also the chief of AL, formally launched the party’s election campaign. At a rally in Sylhet, she sought vote for “boat”, the electoral symbol of the AL, to make “Bangladesh a developed and prosperous country”.
NO INTRA-PARTY FEUD
BNP leaders said they believed that the party has no “intra-party crisis” right now as all the top leaders are united.
“If Khaleda Zia is in trouble, the whole party will be in trouble,” said Fazlul Huq Milon, organising secretary of the party.
Party insiders, however, said the party would run as usual even if the party chief was convicted in the graft case.
“There was an organisational crisis during the Fakhrudin-Moeen Uddin period. But this time, there will be no such crisis. All the leaders are united,” said a senior BNP leader, wishing not to be named.
Khaleda Zia had held meetings with the party’s standing committee members and also with the alliance leaders on Saturday and Sunday. In both the meetings, she urged her party and alliance colleagues to remain united at any cost in the coming days.
Party leaders fear the government may try to split the BNP and the 20-party alliance if Khaleda is convicted.
*News Searching By Thedailystar*