Members of the BNP-led 20-party alliance are demanding more clarity over their position for the upcoming general election, amid rumours the main opposition party has reached an understanding with the Awami League and has begun informing its nomination hopefuls.
Officially, BNP has said it will not contest the polls due in December while party chairperson Khaleda Zia remains in jail.
However, with rumours swirling around, the alliance member parties are now calling for more transparency in their partnership.
According to coalition sources, the ally parties are still in the dark about when and what preparations BNP will make for the polls, as well as what might happen if Khaleda is not released and what kind of communication BNP is maintaining with foreign diplomats regarding the election.
Reached for comment on the matter, BNP Standing Committee Member and coalition Coordinator Nazrul Islam Khan said: “They (alliance members) should say what BNP’s position should be. We have not heard anything yet.”
At least four senior coalition leaders confirmed that the all member parties have agreed with BNP’s decision to boycott the polls while Khaleda is in jail. But some of the BNP’s moves have created confusion and problems for their allies.
BNP will have to contest the national election if Khaleda decides the party should. In such a situation, the leaders said BNP is yet to make clear how the alliance will prepare for the polls at such short notice.
Sources said Khaleda earlier asked LDP Chairman Oli Ahmed, Kalyan Party Chairman Syed Md Ibrahim, and BJP Chairman Andaleeve Rahman Partho to start preparing for the election in their constituencies.
“These three senior leaders are happy and in mental peace after receiving verbal green light,” the chairman of another alliance member, requesting anonymity, said. “But the other leaders of the alliance did not receive any order, so it’s only natural that they are becoming impatient.”
The chief of another ally party said they do not want listen to the rumours about several foreign countries trying to make Awami League and BNP come to an understanding over the national election. “We want BNP to tell us where they really stand,” he said.
Another leader said the ruling party is already on the campaign trail, and if BNP decides late about going to polls, the results will not be good. “The rumours need to be put to bed,” he said.
A BNP leader who is known to be close to Khaleda, said Nazrul Islam Khan has been made the coordinator of the alliance in order to “resolve all these confusions and take some organizational pressure off party Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir”.
Leaders of two Islamist parties of the coalition, however, expressed hope that BNP will reveal their plan to the others at an appropriate time. .
Several other alliance leaders claimed that there is a group in BNP that wants to remain united with their allies, while another group wants to go solo in the absence of their party chief.
This article was first published on banglaribune.com