Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) appears to be almost dysfunctional as the party has confined itself only to different indoor programmes instead of holding any outdoor political activities.
The party, which had been in power several times in the past, has remained almost absent in the political field. It has no activities except for holding press briefing and issuing press statements.
As the party is not active in the street in holding any political activity, its programmes are confined only to air-conditioned rooms either at their party offices, including the office of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia or different other venues in the capital or outside.
BNP leaders claimed that they are not allowed to hold any outdoor political programme.“Even we are not allowed to hold any iftar party,” BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told the daily sun.
BNP has confined itself only to indoor programmes for the last few years.
Although the party sometimes announces demonstration programmes, it finally either cancels them on the pretext of not getting permission or does not take to the street for the programmes.
Nowadays, it has been seen that many BNP leaders and activists stand in the street with their respective banners and take photograph and post those in social media, including facebook, but they do not hold any demonstration programme there, said some leaders.
Many top leaders of BNP are rich and they are always well-dressed. They use expensive private vehicles, reside in posh areas of the capital and always like to stay in comfort while they are isolated from public sufferings, said some leaders and activists of BNP.
Khaleda Zia after attending a court hearing recently told an iftar-party that she went to the court amid heat and suffered there as air-conditioners were switched off.
Many BNP leaders have become rich during the previous regimes of the party. The leaders have become luxury-loving and want to avoid any sufferings now for party activities. They also like to stay inside air-conditioned room only, said a number of leaders.
BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia and some other party leaders at different programmes held in air-conditioned rooms delivered speeches, demanding election under poll-time supportive government.
Talking to the daily sun, some BNP leaders said their party cannot start fresh movement to realise their demand for election or take to the street over public issues due to its organisational crisis, deviation from their own ideology and lack of proper strategy.
Many leaders and activists have become inactive in the party activities while they have become active for their personal business, they added.
Party insiders said BNP remained out of power for a long time and the party’s chain of command has also become weak as a result, party leaders from grassroots to central have become frustrated and lost interest to active politics in street.
The party has formed 502 members jumbo-size central executive committee, but most of the leaders are not seen at party programmes and the scenario of the grassroots level is almost same.
A top BNP leaser said, “Only 5/6 top leaders are now sick. BNP has now many leadership posts, but they neither attend any party programme nor go to the party office.”
He further said some of their leaders only show their faces before the party chairperson Khaleda Zia and get busy flattering her at her Gulshan office in the capital.
“Some leaders wearing nice dresses go to Gulshan office by expensive private vehicle to show their faces before Khaleda Zia but they neither assist the grassroots activists nor attend party activities,” he added.
While visiting BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, it has been seen that neither the party chief nor senior leaders are present in the office. Only a few central members and activists come to the office at the time of press briefing.
Sometimes, BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi is seen busy holding party’s press briefing at its headquarters almost everyday on different issues while Fakhrul and some other leaders went there to attend particular press conference.
“There is no chain of command inside BNP while the lower tier leaders do not follow the direction of the top order. Dedicated party leaders are frustrated as they have been deprived of party posts,” said a central leader.
Some BNP leaders are pointing fingers at the party top leadership, including its chairperson Khaleda Zia and senior vice chairman Tarique Rahman, as the party has become almost dysfunctional.