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Who is running the BNP?

  • Published at 02:13 am August 12th, 2018
Khaleda Zia
File photo of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

Tarique went to London in 2008 after securing bail in a number of corruption cases during the 1/11 changeover—and has been living there since

The BNP has been out of Parliament since 2014. Its Chairperson Khaleda Zia is currently in jail while Acting Chairman Tarique Rahman resides in London.

Discussions about how the party is being run in the absence of its top leaders,and how it will move forward with the national election only months away, have been a matter of interest for political observers and activists alike.

The party’s top brass, however, claims that the bond between leadership and party activists remains as strong as before. 

Some leaders told the Dhaka Tribune that the party’s senior leadership is taking decisions and organizing events adhering to BNP’s charter.

The amended charter empowers the senior vice-chairperson to be the acting chairperson in the absence of the former. 

Tarique went to London in 2008 after securing bail in a number of corruption cases during the 1/11 changeover—and has been living there since.

Although many grassroots activists think it is difficult to run a party from abroad, BNP leaders say it is easy in the age of technology.

Senior leaders, mainly the standing committee members, are taking decisions to run the party. They have decided to establish joint leadership to take any organizational decisions during this period. 

BNP Standing Committee Member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said they consult the secretary-general about organizational activities, movements, or any decision related to any program; and he makes the final call following the senior vice-chairperson’s advice.  

“After February 8 [when Khaleda was jailed], we immediately organized a joint meeting with senior leaders, advisers, and joint secretaries where we decided that the standing committee will inform the senior vice-chairman about details and he will make the decisions,” he added.

“As such, by establishing joint leadership, our team is getting stronger and powerful. Organizationally we are not seeing any problems thus far,” Mosharraf said.

In the past, when Khaleda went out of the country, she made decisions from abroad. Since she is in jail and Tarique is out of the country, the standing committee will make the decision, he added.

As per the standing committee’s decision, Mosharraf will work on team management while Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir will monitor and implement final decisions.

Standing Committee members will advise Fakhrul. He will conduct all the activities of the grassroots leaders in consultation with Tarique.  

Standing Committee Member Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury elaborated on the process responding to the Dhaka Tribune’s query on how the BNP is moving forward. 

“As Tarique Rahman is the senior vice-chairman, he takes decisions in the absence of Party Chief Khaleda Zia. Although the chairperson is in jail, the decision-making process remains almost identical. Currently, the standing committee, which makes decisions in consultation with the senior vice-chairman, is playing the role of acting chairperson. We are satisfied about how the party is running,” he said.

Khasru said there were no problems in running the party. 

“There will be no problem with the leadership in this regard. The BNP maintains the party by following a chain of command. Everyone concerned will cooperate with the team,” he added.