BNP’s Caretaker Movement: Final phase when Dhaka units ready
The BNP wants to make a final push to realise its demand for holding the next general election under a neutral caretaker administration only after the top brass finds the party's Dhaka city units fully prepared for an all-out movement.
Insiders said the BNP was successful in staging massive protests in the last few months despite various obstacles from the ruling party and administration. It all has fuelled enthusiasm among leaders and activists who now can't wait anymore for the final phase of the movement.
But the party high-ups were not satisfied with the performance of the Dhaka city leaders on the last two occasions -- the December 10 Dhaka rally and January 11 mass sit-ins.
These issues were on the agenda in the BNP standing committee meeting, the highest policymaking body of the party, on Thursday night, when the leaders discussed in detail the future course of action and analysed the two big events.
Party's acting chairman Tarique Rahman virtually chaired the meeting where they also talked about the arrest of Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and standing committee member Mirza Abbas and the police raid on the party's Nayapaltan headquarters.
Contacted yesterday, standing committee member Goyeshwar Chandra Roy said the movement has already begun and gradually it will be intensified. "Our movement will continue till the goal is achieved. The intensity of the movement will increase and at some point, success will come."
Sources said the meeting discussed Dhaka city north BNP Convener Aman Ullah Aman's comment that Bangladesh will be run under the leadership of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia after December 10.
"Things got complicated after his (Aman's) statement. The party must seek an explanation from him why he made such a comment," said another standing committee member, wishing not to be named, adding that Tarique asked Fakhrul to look into it.
Meeting sources said a few members questioned Aman's loyalty to the party especially because he secured bail the day after he was arrested from the party office on December 7.
Aman, as the party's Dhaka north unit convener, was supposed to preside over the Nayapaltan sit-in on January 11. But he took the role of the moderator while standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain was in the chair.
Before this, a rumour spread that the Dhaka city north BNP would be dissolved. Tarique even particularly wanted to see the presence of the unit leaders and activists in the sit-ins.
When Mirza Abbas was addressing the audience during the Nayapaltan event, a central leader showed Tarique the presence of Dhaka north BNP leaders and activists through a video call.
The meeting also discussed the formation of "Samomona Ganatantrik Jote", which came into being with 15 organisations at the BNP chairperson's Gulshan office.
A standing committee member asked Tarique how can such an alliance can be formed right at the chairperson's office when the party is focusing on simultaneous movement.
Referring to Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader's mockery that 54 parties are against Sheikh Hasina and it seems 54 horses will lay 54 eggs, the BNP leader said, "It needs to be known who was behind that sudden initiative [ the alliance of 15]."
Currently, the 54 political parties and organisations are waging a simultaneous movement demanding election under a non-party interim government, BNP leaders say.
When the alliance of 15 organisations was announced, BNP standing committee member Iqbal Hasan Mahmud Tuku was there.
At Thursday's meeting, Tuku was present but another senior leader said the whole issue was orchestrated by Aman.
Then Mirza Fakhrul said, "Who gave Aman this authority?"
Aman could not be reached over the phone despite repeated attempts.
This correspondent contacted three other standing committee members about the issues but they declined to say anything on record.