Last September 1 was the founding anniversary of BNP, one of the main political parties of the country. Dressed in army uniform, Ziaur Rahman formed the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) on 1 September 1978 from the post of President. As such, the age of BNP is 45 years.
In the case of humans, hundred years are usually desired. Because usually very few people live more than a hundred years. But political party can live more than hundred years, we know that information. The Communist Party is more than a hundred years old. Congress of India is also crossing centenary. So is the Muslim League. However, Muslim League is the weakest among these parties. A political party usually loses its relevance and becomes alienated due to its inability to keep up with the times and the needs of the people.
Awami League and BNP are two of the most popular parties in our country. Awami League is older than BNP. BNP is younger than Awami League. But 45 years is not a short time for a political party.
Even after 45 years, BNP has survived many setbacks. However, since losing power in 2006, the party has been facing various crises for 16 years. The pressing regret of the leadership crisis prevails at all levels of the party.
BNP’s main power party chairperson Khaleda Zia is a convicted accused in a corruption case. It is not sure how much role he will be able to play in politics due to physical illness, legal complications and surrounding limitations.
In the absence of Khaleda Zia, Tariq Rahman, who fled to London in the eyes of the law, is serving as the acting chairman of the party. He is also a convicted accused. It is not heard that he is in a condition to deal with the situation back home. In this situation, the issue of internal conflicts, doubts and lack of coordination of BNP is not clear.
That is why the question is now arising in the minds of some, is there no possibility of BNP rising? Or will the BNP accept the consequences of the Muslim League? As we all know, Pakistan was established under the leadership of Muslim League, but the majority of the people of Pakistan took a stand against the interests of Bengalis, and the Muslim League soon made its grave in this territory. Then he could not stand up. There is still a party called Muslim League in Bangladesh but it is all name and signboard.
Bangladesh was established under the leadership of Awami League. Bengali top and famous leaders are carrying the flag of glory of this party. The most important thing is that under the direct supervision of the father of the nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the architect of the independent Bangladesh state, this party has become the ruler of Bangladesh. Bangabandhu Bangladesh and Awami League are now inseparable names and entities.
The development and rise of Awami League has been through the path of many friends. By killing Bangabandhu and his family brutally, it has been possible to resist and foil the despicable blueprint of erasing the name of Bangabandhu and Awami League from the politics of Bangladesh. Awami League under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina, the daughter of Bangabandhu, is now in the state power of Bangladesh and has been able to take the country to a new height of progress and prosperity.
Politically and organizationally, BNP is now going through difficult times. Still, the party is obsessed with the dream of one-point demand, namely the fall of the Sheikh Hasina government. BNP leaders say that the main challenge before the party is to be on the streets with all their might to demand the establishment of a neutral caretaker government during the election. But before that, create public opinion for the formation of an impartial election commission.
On the other hand, the Election Commission (EC) has officially started preparations for the 12th parliamentary elections in the first week of next January, but the BNP is not thinking about the polls. All the attention of the party is now on the movement. Although some people think that BNP is also preparing for the election in addition to the movement.
The decision of the party is that they will participate in the election by demanding the resignation of the government and a non-partisan caretaker government during the election. If the government ignores this demand and initiates unilateral elections, BNP will resist it and will not participate in those elections. The only goal of BNP, which has been out of power for 16 years, is to win the movement this time.
It is true that all the anti-Awami League forces are doing various strategies, but does the government seem very afraid of it? Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said in a rally organized on the occasion of the inauguration of the elevated expressway on September 2, ‘I am clear, this soil is ours. So there is no use in fear. By conquering fear, the people of Bangladesh will move forward at an unstoppable pace in its development.’ The optimism expressed by Sheikh Hasina never fails. Many people think that Sheikh Hasina will be able to continue her journey to victory by removing all the obstacles in the way.
But can the BNP achieve victory in one round of movement? Political analysts feel that BNP is advancing with an unrealistic position.
The strong position of the party in favor of not participating in the elections under Sheikh Hasina’s government; There are also doubts whether the top leaders will be able to sustain it in the end. It is also heard that a section of the party is not in favor of boycotting the elections. These leaders think that if the government goes through another election like in the past, then politically the future of BNP will be in jeopardy.
Unbreakable unity has not yet been formed between the like-minded parties which are in simultaneous movement with BNP. Ahead of the election, the small parties are busy settling accounts. There is talk in the market that the government may take various initiatives to create divisions between the parties in the simultaneous movement. Efforts may continue to push many parties out of the alliance by promising them privileges as well as pressure. If any party withdraws from the simultaneous movement, it will send a negative message.
However, some of the BNP leaders feel that the BNP is stronger now than at any time in the past despite various obstacles. The party is in the field to deal with the attacks and cases of the government. For the past one year, BNP has been on the streets with a fairly peaceful program to meet its demands. In the international arena they have been able to show that they are fighting in a non-violent way. They also got some positive results. The leaders say that there have been many attempts to break BNP in these 45 years; But those efforts were not successful. BNP could not catch the break. That is the big strength of BNP now.
The last two elections were held under the Sheikh Hasina government. BNP boycotted the 2014 10th parliamentary elections and called for resistance. But it was not possible to prevent that election. Awami League then won and formed the government for the second time in a row. At that time, United Nations Assistant Secretary General Oscar Fernandez Taranco came to Dhaka to mediate on the election. A meeting of top leaders of Awami League and BNP was also held in his presence.
BNP leaders claimed that the government had promised to hold another election as soon as possible after the constitutionally mandated election. But they didn’t talk after that. After that, BNP took part in the 2018 elections after various struggles. BNP leaders also went to the dialogue called by the Prime Minister in the hope of a free and fair election. But the party got an undesirable result by participating in the election and being extremely eccentric about the nomination of candidates. Only seven seats were won.
From that experience, BNP is adamant in its decision not to go to the elections under the party government. They started the movement from last July 12 with a one-point demand, where half a hundred groups are involved. It is known that the policy makers of BNP are thinking of re-entering the field with a new program of one-phase movement from mid-September.
The leaders of the party said that the movement will continue until the goal is achieved. It is known that at that stage the program will be completely Dhaka-centric. Apart from standing in front of the court, there will be a program of encirclement of various institutions like Election Commission, Ganobhaban, Prime Minister’s Office, Secretariat. Along with this, the BNP High Command is also thinking of giving a continuous sit-in program.
Who believes that the government can be thrown out? It is true that all the anti-Awami League forces are doing various strategies, but does the government seem very afraid of it? Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said in a rally organized on the occasion of the inauguration of the elevated expressway on September 2, ‘I am clear, this soil is ours. So there is no use in fear. By conquering fear, the people of Bangladesh will move forward at an unstoppable pace in its development.’
The optimism expressed by Sheikh Hasina never fails. Many people think that Sheikh Hasina will be able to continue her journey to victory by removing all the obstacles in the way.
September 04, 2023
Author: Politician, Author and Director General, BFDR.
HR/ Farooq/ GKS