BNP ranks vexed at anti-govt strategy

Many senior and mid-level BNP leaders are unhappy with the party's present political strategy as they think it is like handing the government a walkover both in and outside parliament.

Party insiders said the opposition lawmakers were keen to join the budget session of parliament, but they could not do so due to strong opposition from some policymakers.

“We are neither joining parliament nor agitating on the streets. The announcement of the 90-day ultimatum had created a momentum, but we could not cash in on that,” a mid-level BNP leader told The Daily Star.

A sudden “go-slow policy” has demoralised the opposition activists across the country, he observed.

At the March 12 rally in the capital, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia had issued the ultimatum to the government to reinstate the non-party caretaker government system.

Addressing another rally on June 11, on expiry of the ultimatum, she said the opposition would launch tougher agitation programmes like hartal and blockade after Eid-ul-Fitr if their demand was not met.

Asked about the party stance, BNP standing committee member Rafiqul Islam Mia said it was a political strategy and the chairperson had taken the decision. “The chairperson always upholds the decision reached by the majority of the standing committee members.”

He noted: “We are not at war with the government; even we are not in an oust-government movement. Rather, we are in a democratic movement to realise our demands. As a political party we have to adopt different strategies to achieve our goals.”

Former BNP lawmaker Ruhul Quddus Talukder Dulu said the anti-government movement had gathered momentum after the disappearance of party leader Ilias Ali on April 17, but the party could not maintain the momentum.

“Facing all the conspiracies including those from inside the party, we will go for a tougher movement after Eid-ul-Fitr to force the government to restore the caretaker government system,” he

Contacted, a BNP lawmaker said the budget session was a good opportunity for them to press for their demand, but they had to pass that up.

Voicing his frustration over the absence of BNP legislators in parliament, party standing committee member Lt Gen (retd) Mahbubur Rahman said, “It's unfortunate that we are not in parliament. We should have been there.”

The government, on the other hand, should show it sincerely wants the opposition in the House, he added.

News Source: 
The Daily Star