One-Point Movement: BNP, Jamaat reconcile
The awkwardness of the BNP-Jamaat relationship that emerged over a year is apparently fading with Jamaat deciding to join the BNP's one-point simultaneous movement to oust the government.
The top leadership of Jamaat has also come up with fresh programmes that go with the BNP's movement.
Senior leaders of both parties have been in talks to bridge the gap between the parties that had enjoyed a tested and trusted relationship.
"We have resumed discussions with the BNP regarding the simultaneous movement. We are restoring the relationship. I can't say anything more right now," Abu Taher, nayeeb-e-ameer of Jamaat, told The Daily Star yesterday.
Jamaat took part in the first two programmers of the BNP's simultaneous movement which began in December last year. After those, the BNP announced programmes without consulting with Jamaat.
Many Jamaat leaders and activists had been arrested but the BNP kept mum about those, which created a distance between the two parties, said sources.
Since then, Jamaat, which is not registered with the Election Commission, has been observing programmes alone and intermittently and the distance between the two parties grew.
But now they are getting organised to take to the street, said the sources.
BNP leaders, however, said that it was yet to be decided whether Jamaat would make an announcement that they would join the BNP's one-point simultaneous movement.
But a few BNP leaders said Jamaat may join the movement without making an official announcement.
"If the parties are on the street with their own programmes, will a formal announcement make any difference? Everyone will carry out the programmes from their positions … this is a simultaneous movement," said one of the leaders wishing not to be named.
A senior BNP leader said, "The entire issue is political and strategic."
Sources said Jamaat decided to come up with more programmes after the US introduced a new visa policy on May 24 under which the US would deny visas to people believed to be responsible for or complicit in undermining the democratic election process in Bangladesh.
Jamaat had announced a programme in Baitul Mukarram area but was denied police permission. It announced a rally at the same venue on June 10. The party hopes to get the police permission this time as it is the weekend.
Two senior leaders of Jamaat said due to the US visa policy, it would be tough for the government to obstruct their programmes. And they believe it is the right time to take to the street with fresh anti-government programmes.