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Jamaat ban can be boon for BNP: Party leaders, analysts

  • Published at 03:01 am August 4th, 2013

Many BNP policymakers think the party will be benefited whatever fate the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami faces whether it is banned or loses registration as a party. Even political analysts agree with the observation.

Meanwhile, some senior BNP leaders apprehend that the government is hatching conspiracy to split the BNP led 18-party alliance by putting pressure on Jamaat.

The BNP leaders, however, declined to make any statement in public in this regard.

The High Court on Thursday announced Jamaat's registration with Election Commission illegal. Jamaat has already appealed with the Appellate Division against the verdict. If the Appellate Division upholds the High Court verdict, Jamaat cannot take part in the next general elections.

"If Jamaat is banned or disqualified for contesting the elections, the BNP will be the ultimate beneficiary as the Jamaat activists and supporters will work for the BNP. Jamaat will work for any political party that is opposing the Awami League," Abul Maksud, a noted columnist, told the Dhaka Tribune on Saturday.

Prof Emajuddin Ahmed, former vice-chancellor of Dhaka University, said: "I do not think the BNP will get any extra benefit if Jamaat is banned because the Jamaat votes are already with the BNP."

Jamaat as an ally of the opposition alliance contested the last two elections.

After Jamaat's registration declared illegal, BNP is yet to fix up the party stance as its Chairperson Khaleda Zia is now in Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah.

The issue is yet to be discussed in the party forum and as it is very sensitive, the senior leaders of the party kept mum on this issue. However, leaders of different levels started calculating profit and lose centring the verdict. BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Friday issued a statement which was read out in Kurigram by the party's Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.

The statement said the BNP was against banning any political party, but refrained from making any comment on the cancellation of registration issue saying it was a sub-judice matter.

While talking to the Dhaka Tribune, many BNP leaders said the party would get the Jamaat's votes if Jamaat was banned. It would also help BNP to accommodate more of its candidates since it would not have to sacrifice any constituency for Jamaat.

Finally, they thought that Jamaat would wage tough movement for their existence if it could not operate as a political party. This will help intensifying the BNP's ongoing movement.

"Jamaat's registration cancelation will not affect the election-cetring politics and the alliance. We have unity and thus we will remain the future," BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed said at a discussion yesterday. But a section of party leaders expressed apprehension that the government was putting pressure on Jamaat only to bring the party into elections and to split the opposition alliances.

"If Jamaat decides to participate in the polls under the incumbent government, everything will be solved and Jamaat will not have to face any trouble. In fact, the government is trying to split the alliance," Goyeshwar Chandra Roy, another standing committee member told the Dhaka Tribune Saturday.

The stance of BNP is also unknown over the recent verdicts in war crimes cases handed down against Jamaat leaders, including the former chief Ghulam Azam.