BNP in leadership crisis
While the opposition is in a vigorous anti-government movement, their standard-bearer, Bangladesh Nationalist Party, is now in thick soup as most of its top leaders have landed in jail in connection with an arson case.
Following the mass arrests of BNP big shots, its mid-ranking leaders now await party chairperson’s directives for the next course of action.
The leadership crisis appeared so severe that they even failed to announce any fresh programme—no one can clearly say how many leaders and activists have so far been arrested and injured during Thursday’s countrywide dawn-to-dusk hartal.
Abdullah Al Noman, vice-chairman of the party, however, says as BNP is a large political party, it has no leadership crisis.
But, after giving a bit more thought to the question, he said: “Yes, it is a big crisis as a good number of senior leaders went into jail.”
“We always feel their absence but the party has no leadership crisis,” he told daily sun on Thursday.
“The party chairperson always takes decision in consultation with senior leaders of the party. So there is nothing wrong,” he said.
Abdus Salam, member-secretary of Dhaka city unit of BNP, dismissed the notion of leadership crisis in the party. He rather argued that the party gets cemented and more organised at the crisis moment.
“There is no leadership crisis because our leader is Khaleda Zia and the rest of the party leaders are nothing but activists—we just carry out her decision,” he told daily sun.
Salam, also the finance secretary of the former ruling party, strongly said the party has a lot of leaders who can carry out the responsibilities of the secretary general.
Those who were thrown behind bars Wednesday include Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, MK Anwar, Brig Gen (retd) Hannan Shah, Sadeque Hossain Khoka, Mirza Abbas, Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Aman Ullah Aman, Ruhul Kuddus Talukder Dulu, Goyeshwar Chandra Roy, AKM Fazlul Haque Milon, Nazimuddin Alam, Shahid Uddin Chowdhury Anne, Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal President Sultan Salauddin Tuku, Swechchhasebak Dal President Habib-un-Nabi Khan Sohel, Swechchhasebak Dal General Secretary Mir Sharafat Ali Safu, and Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal General Secretary Amirul Islam Khan Alim.
In the meantime, Leader of the Opposition and BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia distributed responsibilities to the remaining leaders at liberty. One group will lead the movement on the street and the other will lead the legal battle to ensure the release of the detained leaders.
Barrister Moudud Ahmed MP, Dr. Abdul Moyeen Khan and Nazrul Islam Khan have been assigned to coordinate the party activities and implement party chairperson’s decision in the absence of party’s acting secretary-general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
A highly placed source in the party said that BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan, Vice-chairman Abdullah Al Noman and joint secretary-general Mohammad Shahjahan got the task of leading the movement in the field. Especially, Nazrul Islam Khan was asked to stay in the party’s central Nayapaltan office.
On the other hand, party’s standing committee member barrister Moudud Ahmed, barrister Rafiqul Islam Mia, adviser to the chairperson Khandkar Mahbub Hossain, SCBA president Zainul Abdin, joint secretary-general of the party barrister Mahbubuddin Khokon MP were assigned to fight the legal battle.