BNP, allies await AL plan, may use different banner to contest
The BNP-led four-party alliance may allow its leaders to take part in local government elections under a different banner if Awami League (AL) decides to go for the polls, alliance sources indicated.
The alliance leadership is now strongly opposing any polls before the parliamentary elections.
Meanwhile, the AL Central Working Committee (ALCWC) will sit tomorrow to take a decision regarding participation in local body polls.
But grassroots level AL leaders are already planning to take part in the elections under a different banner such as 'Nagorik Committee', party insiders said.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday discussed with party Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain the issue of local government elections and asked him to take a decision in consultation with alliance leaders, BNP sources said.
During her appearance before a court, she also suggested party leaders to consider the opinion of grassroots leaders, and strategies of other political parties including AL. The party high command already got recommendations from many divisional and district level leaders for participating in polls to city corporations and municipalities, the sources mentioned.
The BNP chairperson and top leader of the alliance was expected to announce her stance on local body polls yesterday but she did not. She however said, "The decision of BNP and the alliance is my decision”.
Four-party leaders including Delwar Hossain and Jamat-e-Islami Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojahid have been repeatedly demanding withdrawal of the election schedule for local bodies announced by the Election Commission.
But a BNP leader last night told The Daily Star, “We cannot sit idle if Awami League participates in election. So, we have to find out a new strategy to join the election.” He hoped that top leaders of the alliance would consider the 'demand 'of grassroots level leaders.
Seeking anonymity, he also said many of the party leaders have already collected nomination forms and registered their names as candidates for elections to city corporations and municipalities. The party must consider their sentiment, he added.
Four-party leaders will sit soon to decide on participation in local body polls.
But the meeting might be held after the ALCWC meeting, sources said.
Delwar to party leaders
Delwar yesterday reiterated his earlier stance on local body polls, saying BNP will not participate in 'elections under a blueprint'.
“Those who will take part in local body polls will be branded by the people as lackeys of the government,” he said at a meeting with Sreepur Thana BNP at his NAM apartment.
Meanwhile, Jatiyatabadi Juba Dal leaders and workers yesterday observed a 2-hour token hunger strike on the ground floor of NAM Building-5 to press for release of Khaleda and overseas treatment of her two detained sons.
They also demanded release of Jubo Dal General Secretary Moazzem Hossain Alal.