The party on Sunday said it is ready to make any sacrifice to build a broader alliance with other political parties to go into the national polls
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), a major political opposition in the country, is determined to forge a broader alliance to win the 11th parliamentary election.
The party on Sunday said it is ready to make any sacrifice to build a broader alliance with other political parties to go into the national polls.
It began the process of forming ‘a greater national alliance’ years ago, but gained significant momentum last month with the election approaching fast.
Last month the BNP decided to include only the parties that agree with its 10-point proposal for new broader alliance formation, but now it is ready to include other parties to go into national election.
Party leaders said they need this unity to compel the incumbent government to hold the election under a neutral administration and the proposal for participation in unity is open for all.
BNP’s 10-point proposal includes unconditional release of all political leaders and activists, including BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia; a free, fair and participatory election; and the establishment of good governance in every sphere of the state, among others.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said: “The parties must realize the need for this unity and reach a consensus.”
He said the whole country wants broader alliance and he believes the alliance would be formed anytime soon to restore democracy and release the BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia with united efforts against what he termed “the autocratic government.”
Recently, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir held talks with various political parties, including former president Dr AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury-led Bikalpadhara Bangladesh, ASM Rob-led Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, Kader Siddique-led Krishak Sramik Janata League, and Mahmudur Rahman Manna-led Nagorik Oikya for the formation of the broader alliance.
Seeking anonymity, a top BNP leader said: “It takes sacrifice for unity. Everyone has to compromise a little for the unity and we all are trying to do that.”
When asked, BNP Standing Committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said, prior to BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s imprisonment in February, she called for a broader political alliance.
“As per her instructions, we are discussing issues with other political parties and the process is ongoing. We are hopeful,” he said.
BNP will take part in the national polls with a broader electoral alliance, which will be formed with anti-Awami League parties that seek a fair election under a neutral government, said the BNP leader.
Mosharraf informed that discussions are ongoing and many parties have expressed their desire to get involved.
Also Read- BNP: Release Khaleda for fair polls
He also hinted that the BNP may compromise over seat distribution with the possible members of new unity, however, that is a matter of discussion.
The new broader alliance will remain separate from the existing BNP led 20-party alliance where war crime accused Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami is an ally.
BNP Joint Secretary General Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal said: “They will take part in the election as usual with the 20-party alliance but the national unity to be formed will work against the autocratic government.”
The BNP on Sunday night held a meeting with its 20-party alliance members in this connection.
BNP standing committee member and 20-party alliance convener Nazrul Islam Khan said: “The announcement on the alliance may take some time, as parties were still at the discussion stage. But we wish to have anti-government parties in the new unity.
Also Read- BNP yet to begin electioneering
He called upon the other party members to work together in order to unseat the present government, and the BNP can come into a consensus to encourage them to join in broader unity for the upcoming general election. They have supported the broader alliance for the sake of release of all arrested activists, deployment of army during polls, etc, he added.
When asked on what kind of sacrifice they can make for the alliance, Nazrul said restoring good governance in the country is their target and thus the proposal for broader unity was floated for political parties.
“After discussion, we can say what kind of sacrifice we can make, but we are ready for sacrifices for the sake of national interest,” he added.
PM welcomes alliance
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina recently welcomed the move of Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain and Bikalpadhara Bangladesh President Prof AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury and others to form an alliance saying that it would give the anti-Awami League people a new platform to stand on.
BNP is trying to form its broader unity with Juktofront which consists of four major political parties, and also wants Gono Forum-led by Dr Kamal Hossain in the broader alliance.
“I welcome their alliance. Let unity prevail... this is good. This will be a great relief for the anti-Awami League people,” she said.
The prime minister further said: “There are two parties in Bangladesh -- Awami League and anti-Awami League. The anti-Awami League people will have to go somewhere.”
Sheikh Hasina, also the Awami League chief, said the new alliance will be a good one at least. “We will contest the election. I hope they will also take part in the polls,” she added.