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BNP grassroots want tougher movement

  • Published at 11:51 am September 3rd, 2018
BNP rally in front of Naya Paltan, Dhaka
BNP holds a rally in front of their head office in Naya Paltan, Dhaka to mark the party's 40th founding anniversary, September 1, 2018 Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune

They want to go for a stronger movement for the release of party Chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail before the polls

BNP grassroot leaders considerslaunching a tougher movement, the only way to meet their demands before the upcoming national elections. 

They said they do not want to make the movement a failure like 2014. 

In 2014, BNP demanded for a non-party government before the national elections but the demand was not met. Finally, the party did not participate in the election. 

The leaders said, they should go for a stronger movement for the release of party Chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail before the polls, scheduled to be held in the last week of December. 

The grassroots leaderswho attended a rally marking BNP’s 40th founding anniversary, held in front of the party’s Naya Paltan headquarters in Dhaka on Saturday, shared this view, reports Bangla Tribune. 

Khaleda has been in jail since February 8 after a Dhaka court sentenced her to five years in jail in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.

Though she gained bail in this case she cannot be released from jail as there are some other cases against her. 

During Saturday’s rally, Khaleda’s lawyer Zainal Abedin said the BNP chief already got bail in all cases other than two cases. “She will be released after she is granted bail in these two cases.”

BNP’s Chawkbazarthanacommittee leader Kutub Uddin, who attended the rally, said they will have to launch a movementto release Khaleda from jail.

“BNP will not participate in the elections without her,” he said. 

He said, the situation in 2014 was different and this time they will wage a robust movement. 

“The government will not meet our demand without any movement.”

Kutub further said: “No matter what the party high command says, the grassroots leaders want to reach their target through movement.”

Thousands gather in front of BNP's head office in Naya Paltan to celebrate the occasion of the party turning 40, September 1, 2018 <strong>Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune</strong>

However, BNP’s Mohammadpur Thana committeemember,Mahbub Mia, differed with him. 

He said the party top brass will consult the incarcerated party chief before making any decision. 

“We got a message from this rally that we will not participate in the election without Khaleda Zia. In fact, we do not want to contest the polls with her behind bars,” said Mahbub. 

However, he thinks it is not possible to have Khaleda released from jail without movement. 

BNP’s railway colony union Secretary Golam Mawla said they will have to create pressure on the government to make arrangements for a free and fair election. 

He claimed several thousands of people attended the rally which proves that BNP is still popular. “We need so many people on the street [for movement].”

Mawla said they will wage a movement for Khaleda’s release and a free and fair election. 

Mizanur Rahman, an activist ofBNP’s student wing JatiyatabadiChhatra Dal’s Titumir College unit, said they got a message from the rally that the party will not participate in the election without Khaleda Zia. 

Party leaders and activists outside Dhaka who attended the rally also echoed the same. 

Jahir Hossain, former Chhatra Dal leader of BNP Patuakhali district’s GalachipaUpazila unitsaid, they will launch a movement as soon as the election schedule is announced. 

“After the announcement of polls schedule, the administration will stay a bit flexible,” he said. 

BNP Barguna district unit General Secretary Moniruzzaman said, they will have to wage a tough movement to get Khaleda Zia out of jail. “The ongoing movement will not help to release her from jail.”

BNP Media Wing Member Shairul Kabir Khan said: “We have got support for our demand through the presence of so many people in the rally.”

However, central BNP leaders also unequivocally raised the demand for releasing the party chief before the polls and forming a non-party government for a credible election. 

“Why does the government fear an election under a neutral administration?” questioned BNP Standing Committee Member Jamir Uddin Sircar. 

Bangla Tribune