Out-of-parliament opposition BNP, which is constantly stumbling in the field of politics, is marching ahead in 2018 without any concrete plan for the future.
The party has remained out of power for more than a decade. The 11th general polls are just around the corner, but many leaders and activists are completely in the dark about what lies in the future for them.
According to insiders, the BNP has asked its leaders and activists to gain the support of the people, but provided no specific instruction on how to do so.
The grassroots level has no idea whether some of its committees have expired or will be active in this year. There is no news about how the executive committee will handle the situation.
Apart from this, party workers and activists are also concerned about the issue that internal conflicts have made it quite difficult for the BNP to restructure the organization.
In the last year, BNP leaders remained silent over the repeated failures of district-level leaders, who failed to meet their deadline for organizational reconstruction of the grassroots level. This silence only served to raise the alarm among party members.
Sources told the Dhaka Tribune that most leaders of the party have neither received any directives nor have any concerns about launching a movement to press for their demands.
A number of insiders stated that it will take a big crisis for the BNP to become reunited under a single banner. BNP central has already held several meetings, but failed to resolve the internal conflicts that have plagued the party for years.
A BNP leader, on condition of anonymity, told the Dhaka Tribune: “From the top leadership to the grassroots, the BNP is divided into groups and sub-groups. Is it possible to stand against Sheikh Hasina on behalf of those who have not been able to unify their organization even after 10 years out of power?”
He further claimed that some opportunistic leaders have occupied important positions, but BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and Senior Vice Chairman of the party Tarique Rahman will not be able to sleep soundly because of those leaders.
Addressing the issue, former vice-chancellor of Dhaka University SM Faiz said: “No matter how adverse the situation might be, the BNP will have to be ready to participate in the next polls. To achieve this feat, the grassroots organizational level needs to be strengthened further, and the current political situation must be faced with courage.”
Faiz pointed out that the government will have to create a suitable environment for an inclusive and fair election, to avoid possible complications surrounding the polls.
Meanwhile, commenting on the matter, BNP Vice Chairman Shamsuzzaman Dudu said: “The government did not take any initiative in the last three years for holding an acceptable election. Democratic government will have to be re-established and this is our goal for 2018.”
Discussing the BNP’s plans for 2018, the party’s Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi firmly stated that they will launch a movement if the president fails to create a fair election environment.
“The BNP will plan the next course of action depending on the political landscape,” he added.
Meanwhile, speaking to the correspondent, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said: “Restoring democracy from the fascist government is now our biggest challenge.”
“We have demanded the formation of a neutral election commission for an acceptable national election. It is very important to us. Large organizations such as the BNP are always ready for any election,” he concluded.