The BNP leader reiterated his party’s stance at the launch of a book on BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s political life
Trashing various media speculations, senior BNP leader Moudud Ahmed said his party would not back off from its decision of not sending their party MPs-elect to parliament.
“There is no question... our six MPs-elect will not join parliament. That is what our party has decided. We have also decided to convey our stance to the MPs-elect,” he said while speaking at the launch ceremony of a book on the political life of BNP chief Khaleda Zia.
The event took place at the Supreme Court Bar Association auditorium in Dhaka on Friday, reported UNB.
The BNP leader further said: “Our standing committee members made the decision together with our acting chairman [Tarique Rahman)]. There is no reason to retreat from this stance."
Most party senior leaders, including Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, were present at the event.
Addressing the program, Fakhrul, who is one of the six MPs-elect of the party, did not say anything about the issue.
Moudud, a BNP standing committee member, explained the reason behind not sending their MPs to parliament.
“We know the nature of the current ruling party. As we won 27 seats in 2009, they urged us to join parliament promising to show us proper respect and give us nine seats in the front row," he said.
But when the BNP MPs went to parliament, the speaker on the very first day told them that it was not possible to give them more than three or four seats in the front row, Moudud said. “So we should not expect any sympathy and political etiquette from such a narrow-minded party."
He said they would continue their legal battle to free Khaleda Zia from jail. “She [Khaleda] would have been granted bail. We could not ensure her bail only because of political reasons. We will continue to put in our best efforts to free her. But I think there is no alternative to waging a movement to have her released from jail."
Moudud said the government kept Khaleda in jail and implicated thousands of BNP leaders and activists in “false” cases to eliminate BNP. “But BNP will survive more than a hundred years as a political party, because the Awami League has made it stronger through its repressive acts."
The BNP leader said hundreds of thousands of BNP leaders and activists and their relatives would never forget the repression of the current government. "So I think this Awami League government has permanently established BNP as a strong political party."
He also said a political vacuum has been created in the country with the government's efforts to eliminate BNP. "But as a small political scientist, I can say such vacuum will not last for a long time."
Shato Nagorik Committee arranged the launch ceremony of the book, titled “Khaleda Zia: Tritiyo Bishwer Konthaswar (Khaleda Zia: Voice of the Third World).”
Former Dhaka University vice-chancellor Prof Emajuddin Ahmed and poet Abdul Hye Sikder edited the 860-page book.
It is the first book based on complete research on the BNP chief's political life.
Fakhrul urges BNP leaders, activists not to get disappointed
Speaking at the program as chief guest, Fakhrul urged BNP leaders and activists not to get disappointed as their party would overcome the current adverse situation as in the past.
"I never agree with those who say BNP has got eliminated. BNP went through such crises many times in the past and bounced back as well since it is a party of the country's mass people," he observed.
Fakhrul said Khaleda was sent to jail by the current government with a motive to destroy BNP and the country's politics. "It won't be possible to do so as BNP and Khaleda Zia do politics for the people of the country."
The BNP leader also said Khaleda, no matter whether she stays in jail or outside, will inspire people to restore democracy in the country.
Khandaker Mosharraf: Unusual situation prevailing in the country
BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain alleged that an unusual situation has been prevailing in the country. “We must restore democracy to get rid of it. Khaleda Zia will be freed if democracy is restored."
He, however, said it would not be possible to free Khaleda Zia without an effective movement. "So all the patriotic and democratic forces must get united."
Another BNP Standing Committee member, Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, said the speculation about Khaleda Zia's release on parole is nothing but a mockery.
He also came down hard on those BNP's MPs-elect who expressed their desire to go to parliament.
BNP Standing Committee members Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan and Nazrul Islam Khan, Vice Chairman Khandker Mahbub Hossain, Gonoshasthya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury and Supreme Court Bar Association Secretary Mahbubuddin Khokon also spoke at the program, among others.