The BNP has hired the services of two US-based firms to lobby the Trump administration on its behalf, according to US portal Politico.
However, talking to The Daily Star yesterday, several senior BNP leaders denied the authenticity of the report.
“Abdul Sattar of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party has hired Blue Star Strategies and Rasky Partners to lobby the Trump administration on its behalf ahead of upcoming elections in Bangladesh,” read the report published on September 10.
“The contract with Blue Star is worth $20,000 a month in August and $35,000 a month for the rest of the year. Rasky Partners is working as a subcontractor to Blue Star; its cut of the money is $10,000 a month in August and $15,000 a month for the rest of the year,” it said.
“Blue Star Strategies will engage in message development and narrative; outreach to elected and appointed US Executive Branch officials; outreach to US Congress; international financial, health, labour, human rights, women's empowerment and election monitoring organisations; public policy institutions in the US; former US officials and ambassadors; the private sector and diaspora community,” Politico quoted a Justice Department disclosure as saying.
ABM Abdus Sattar, personal assistant of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, told The Daily Star that he didn't know anything about the matter. “My name has come in the report mistakenly.”
BNP standing committee member Lt Gen (retd) Mahbubur Rahman said the party didn't think that hiring of such lobbying firms was necessary.
Shamsuzzaman Dudu, adviser to the BNP chairperson, said the party didn't discuss any such issue during any meeting.
The BNP is now at loggerheads with its main political rival Awami League over the upcoming general elections, likely to be held in late December.