Huda's 31-party to merge with 14-party: Nasim

Former BNP leader Nazmul Huda-led Bangladesh National Alliance, a platform of 31 political parties, would join ruling Awami League-led 14-party grand alliance, meaning a new combine of 45 political parties is in the offing, according to Health Minister Mohammad Nasim.

The senior AL leader said this yesterday at a programme organised on the occasion of the first founding anniversary of BNA at the Supreme Court Bar Auditorium.

During last year's political turmoil, Huda announced that they would form BNA comprising 31 name-only political parties as none of the parties has registration with the Election Commission. 

On November 20 last year, Huda, former vice-chairman of BNP, floated “Trinomul BNP” for what he said was to “begin a new journey of BNP.” It was the fifth party launched by the former minister since he quit BNP in June 2012.

He is still the chairman of Bangladesh Manabadhikar Party in addition to being the head of BNA.

Interestingly, none of the organisers including the BNA spokesperson yesterday could mention the names of more than 12 components of the alliance.

Names of the components obtained from them are Trinomul BNP, Aam Admi Party, Aam Janata Party, Baksal, Bangalee Janata Party, Swadheen Party, Desh Premik Party, Gono Andolan Party, Protibadi Janata Party, Jago Bangalee, Jago Dal, and Sachetan Hindu Party.

Huda could not attend the programme due to the death of one of his close relatives.

Nasim in his speech said the BNA would join the 14-party platform. “You [BNA] are with us and will be with us. I along with the 14-party leaders will sit with you [leaders of BNA] soon to that end,” Nasim, coordinator of the grand alliance, added amid clapping from the audience.

The minister, however, gave three conditions to the BNA leaders saying they would keep the belief that Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is the Father of the Nation, would have to work under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and keep no relation with the anti-liberation “war elements”, including BNP and Jamaat-e-Islam.

The BNA leaders present at that programme hailed the health minister's announcement.

Nasim also assured the BNA leaders of giving all kinds of assistance so that they can work with the 14-party alliance and the government.

He also advised the BNA leaders to strengthen the alliance. 

Nasim claims the government is not trying to split BNP or the BNP-led 20-party alliance as “AL does not believe in splitting any political party or alliance”.

In his speech, he, however, said BNP and the opposition alliance would split further in the days to come due to Khaleda Zia's “anti-people” policy.

Nasim told the audience and media that he was giving a guarantee in written that the BNP chief would contest the 2019 general elections under Sheikh Hasina.

The BNA leaders dubbed Nasim as their “guardian” and “apple of our eyes” and sought his assistance so that the platform could be a partner of the government.