Vijaya Laxmi Tripura
After remaining is coalition with militancy-linked Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) seems to have already made their mind of separating it from JI, as most of the policymakers of the party are considering its relations with Jamaat as a “huge liability” while the convener of Oikya Front, Dr. Kamal Hossain has clearly expressed his dissatisfaction over BNP’s relations with Jamaat. A large number of BNP men are now finding more confidence in Dr. Kamal than their party bosses such as Khaleda Zia and her fugitive son Tarique Rahman. Inside BNP, there is clearly anger on Tarique for his audacious behavior and making millions of dollars through nomination trade prior to the December 30 general election, which is seen as one of the major reasons of BNP’s disastrous result.
On condition of anonymity, an influential leader of BNP said, they already have started feeling suffocated as they do not see any hope of getting the party salvaged from the current status either by Khaleda Zia or Tarique Rahman. He said, “After remaining in prison since February last year, Khaleda Zia has already been proved to have been rejected by the people of Bangladesh. There is no real outcry demanding her release either locally or internationally. Global media seems to be uninterested in saying anything favorable to Khaleda Zia. Our political opponents now even may say – Khaleda Zia already is politically dead or irrelevant. No one talks about her anymore save few of her sycophants. The case of her son, Tarique Rahman is even worst. Most of us now consider him as a pain in the ass. Though we never had positive impression on Tarique, it now seems, there should be a revolt inside BNP is freeing the party from the grips of Zia family.”
Commenting on the elected BNP MPs not taking oath or joining the parliament he said, as per rules, an elected Member of the Parliament gets 180 day’s time for taking oath. BNP now is waiting for a political “miracle” as they believe; there will be substantial pressure of the government from the international community in trashing the December 2018 general election and hold a fresh election by the summer. Oikya Front convener Dr. Kamal too is hopeful of a fresh election. But he is now putting emphasis on BNP’s leaving Jamaat e Islami “as soon as possible” as, according to him; Jamaat has already been branded as a militancy-linked party to the Western policymakers. This even has become a key factor that stops Westerners in putting support towards Oikya Front or BNP.
Dr. Kamal Hossain already has given an ultimatum to BNP leaders saying, if BNP does not sever ties with Jamaat e Islami by February, he would disassociate from being in Oikya Front with BNP.
Meanwhile, BNP-led Oikya Front has formed a team with contacts in the West and other countries with the view of making all-out effort in “effectively” convincing the international community in putting pressure on the ruling party in Bangladesh in holding a fresh election soon. Prior to moving ahead with this initiative, most of the key figures in BNP already are thinking of distancing itself from Jamaat-e-Islami.
Meanwhile, Jamaat-e-Islami leaders are feeling worried at the possibility of being abandoned by Bangladesh Nationalist Party. They also fear, within next 3-4 months, government may get JI banned, which would in fact push the Jamaat underground.