The BNP is planning to use all its might in contesting the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) by-polls. The party’s lawyers say they fear writ petitions to stop the election may be filed to stop the election if the ruling party candidate moves towards a loss.
Participants of a meeting between BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and her party’s lawyers and intellectuals, suggested the party leaders speak about the issue openly as part of the election strategy.
The DNCC by-election is scheduled for February 26. The mayor’s post fell vacant on December 1 after the death of Annisul Huq on November 30.
The BNP is yet to announce its candidate but political observers say the party is most likely to pick Tabith Awal.
After the Sunday night meeting at Khaleda’s Gulshan office, a senior BNP lawyer said they had discussed the current political situation. Khaleda also listened to the lawyers’ advice and then held a half-hour-long discussion with them.
Another lawyer said Khaleda herself would campaign for the party’s mayoral candidate. Electoral strategies were also discussed.
“The party’s lawyers have expressed fears that there could be writ petitions by one or more parties if the ruling party gets any hint that its candidate is going to lose,” a third lawyer said.
Khaleda asked for the lawyers’ advice on ways to prevent the situation from occurring. The lawyers told her that the possibility of such events should be brought forth through the speeches of the BNP leaders.
Sources present at the meeting said the BNP chairperson also told her party’s intellectuals about her stance on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s allegation that Khaleda owned properties abroad.
She told them that neither she nor any members of her family owned any properties outside the country.
BNP’s Publicity Affairs Secretary Shahid Uddin Chowdhury Annie, who took part in the meeting, said: “We had meetings with people of various professions. The overall situation and political issues were discussed [in it].”
Replying to a query, he said lawyers too had participated in the meeting. “We discussed various legal aspects of the cases with them,” he said.
Sources at the chairperson’s office said the meeting started around 9am. Professor Emajuddin Ahmed, Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury, Professor Mustafizur Rahman, Professor Sadrul Amin, Professor Anwarullah Khandkar Chowdhury, poet Abdul Hye Shikdar, journalist Mahfuz Ullah, and Ibrahim Khalil attended it.
BNP leaders, present at the meeting, include Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, Abdullah Al Noman, Mahbub Hossain, Mahbub Uddin Khokon, Habib-un-Nabi Khan Sohel, Annie, and Sanaullah Mia.
After the meeting, Zafrullah said they had advised the BNP chairperson to arrange hearings of her cases in regular court.
So far, the five nomination applicants of the party are: BNP central executive committee member Tabith; Dhaka city (North) unit President MA Quayum; Dhaka city (North) unit Assistant Publication Secretary Shakil Wahed; BNP’s central leader Asaduzzaman Ripon and BNP leader Maj (retd) Akhtaruzzaman (Ranjan).
They submitted their nomination forms to the BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi at the BNP’s Naya Paltan headquarters on Monday.
This article was first published on banglatribune.com