The grassroots leaders and activists of BNP are ready to launch a movement aiming to free party Chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail, and they are also preparing for the upcoming 11th general election.
BNP leaders and activists throughout Bangladesh have organizational and mental preparation to follow any directive put forth the by party’s policy makers.
The BNP central command has the final say about setting the action plan.
Speaking to the correspondent on March 20, a number of BNP leaders revealed that they are making serious preparations for both the movement to free Khaleda Zia and the next general election at their own constituencies.
Many nomination seekers from the BNP have launched their electoral campaign, to go head to head with aspirants from other political parties. But, the decision to participate in the next parliamentary polls will be made by the BNP high command.
The grassroots leaders believe that if the BNP participates in the polls, and if the election is held fairly, it will secure a victory.
However, the party men and women are putting more emphasis on the movement to free Khaleda, until further notice from the central.
BNP Chief Khaleda Zia has been in prison since February 8, following her conviction in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.
The party is being run by acting chairman Tarique Rahman and the standing committee. BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir is coordinating the party activities.
Grassroots leaders have expressed their full trust on the current BNP leadership.
The grassroots will go along with the decision of the central leaders, be it the electoral campaign or the movement to free Khaleda Zia.
What do the grassroots leaders say?
Feni district unit BNP President Abu Taher said: “We are always ready for the election, and nomination seekers are campaigning for it. But the decision to participate in the polls depends on the acting chairman and the central command.”
“We will implement the decision made by the central command.”
Discussing the issue of BNP chief’s release from prison, he added: “We hope that Khaleda Zia will be freed soon. We are trying to organize demonstrations in Feni, but the police are resisting it.
“Despite the administration’s impediment, we are organizing the movement as best as we can.”
Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) Mayor and city unit BNP President Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul said: “We have been preparing for the polls for the last 12 years. We are now awaiting the central’s decision on participation.
“The city unit is keeping close contact with the acting chairman and the standing committee.”
He added: “We are holding regular extended meetings with the thana and ward level leaders to successfully organize a rally on March 31, demanding the release of Khaleda Zia. We just need the permission from the administration.”
Khulna district unit BNP President Advocate Shafiqul Alam Mona stated: “The city unit is ready for the election. Provided that a fair election is held in Khulna, our candidates will surely win.
“Our leader Khaleda Zia is currently in jail. Our [BNP] participation in the next polls depends on her release from prison.”
BNP central leaders, on numerous occasion pointed out that they are ready for the general polls, but their current priority is the securing the release of party Chief Khaleda Zia. They want to achieve the goal through legal battle and peaceful movement.
In another recently published report, several BNP leaders confirmed that there will be no crucial changes in the party activities for at least June, 2018.
Speaking to the correspondent, BNP Standing Committee Member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said: “Our movement is currently focused on getting Khaleda Zia out of prison. We are engaged in a peaceful movement, but we are always prepared for the polls.”
The senior BNP leader expressed optimism that the party will participate in the 11th general polls with the leadership of Khaleda Zia.
This article was first published on banglatribune.com