Bangladesh Nationalist Party leaders think that a greater effective political alliance should be formed expanding the Jatiya Oikya Front as the opposition alliance apparently failed to yield any tangible political mileage centering the 11th parliamentary polls.
People are in doubt about the front following Gono Forum leader Sultan Muhammad Mansur Ahmed’s swearing in as a lawmaker defying the decision of the party and the front, BNP leaders said while talking to New age in past few days.
The front held only two Dhaka-based programs — wearing of the black badge in front of National Press Club on February 6 and mass hearing on the December 30 general election on February 22 — protesting at widespread fraud and flaws that marred the polls.
BNP chairperson’s advisory council member Taimur Alam Khondokar told on Tuesday Gono Forum leader Sultan Mansur’s taking oath caused people to doubt the existence of the front.
Sultan, also former Dhaka University Central Students’ Union vice-president, took oath on March 7 while the front getting only eight of the 300 seats — BNP six and Gono Forum two — rejected the results of the poll, decided not to take the oath and demanded fresh elections under a neutral government.
Taimur said that a greater unity, irrespective of left- or right-leaning parties, must be forged to restore democracy and there was no alternative to the leadership of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia for restoring people’s voting rights.
Khaleda was jailed for five years in a graft case on February 8, 2018, and sent to the old Dhaka Central Jail.
BNP vice-chairman Shamsuzzaman Dudu said that the Jatiya Oikya Front was formed for establishing democracy in Bangladesh and it would exist until democracy was established.
He said that the front might be expanded.
The front headed by Gono Forum president Dr. Kamal Hossain was launched on October 13, 2018, with seven-point demands, including holding the 11th parliamentary polls under a neutral government dissolving the 10th parliament.
It also announced 11-point objectives, including the establishment of an exploitation-free welfare-based Bangladesh with the spirit of 1971 Liberation War and balance of power between the president and the prime minister.
BNP joint secretary general Harun-ur-Rashid said that smaller political parties should be inducted in the front.
BNP publicity secretary Shahiduddin Chowdhury Annie said that the party might decide in what format front would work.
Its organizing secretary Syed Emran Saleh Prince said that still there was a necessity of the front for the restoration of democracy.
Many BNP leaders, however, wanted the parties in the front to clear their stance on launching a tougher street movement for the release of Khaleda and restoration of democracy, the party leaders said.
BNP assistant organizing secretary Abdus Salam Azad said that the parties in the front should clear their stance on movement for freeing Khaleda and restoring democracy.