BNP leaders are divided over adopting a strategy for launching a movement to press home its demand for holding the next national election under a non-party poll-time government.
Party insiders said a group of BNP leaders want to go for tough agitation programmes soon, demanding election under a non-party administration as they think the incumbent Awami League government will not pay any heed to BNP’s demand.
They are pursuing BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia to launch the movement with peaceful programmes and go for a hardline if necessary with hartal, blockade and other non-cooperation programmes to realise their demand, the sources added.
They believe waging any tough agitation may affect the reputation of the party ahead of the polls, insiders said.
On the other hand, another group of central leaders of BNP think the party can create pressure on the government through some ‘peaceful’ programmes with huge public participation.
“It will depend on the government whether BNP will pay its attention to movement or election. If government plays a game over the election, BNP will have no alternative to waging a movement. People will force BNP to go for movement,” BNP Standing Committee Member Mahbubur Rahman told daily sun.
Another BNP senior leader, wishing anonymity, said “Earlier, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia placed a set of proposals for the formation of a strong and neutral Election Commission, but the Awami League rejected her proposal. So its likely that the ruling party will reject BNP’s formula of the polls-time government. If BNP waits for negotiations, it will be just wasting time. BNP should go for tougher agitation to resist any election like January 5, 2014.”
Talking to daily sun, several BNP leaders said they believe that if the next general election is held in a free and fair manner, BNP has high possibility of winning the election as the party has huge popularity while there are many instances of ‘unjust’ actions and ‘failures’ of the current Awami League government during its regime.
Asked over the phone whether there are any differences of opinions of the party leaders about the movement, BNP standing committee member Abdul Moyeen Khan refused to comment on this issue.
“Since BNP has huge popularity and the incumbent Awami League government has had failures in all sectors, BNP has a possibility to go to power through the next parliament election. BNP should start taking preparation for the election and launch campaigns from now,” said a central leader of BNP.
Another leader said many BNP leaders and activists ‘emotionally’ feel about waging a tougher movement to oust the incumbent government and to participate in the next parliamentary election after the formation of a poll-time non-party government system.
“If BNP steps into the trap of the movement and launches a violent movement, the party will lose its image and will be branded by the ruling party as a violent political party. That will be a boomerang for BNP ahead of the next national polls,” said a central leader of BNP.
Another senior BNP leader said, “Some leaders persuaded our chairperson to take to the streets soon, but she has finally changed her mind considering the reality.”
“If our party launches any movement right now it will only invite serious repressive acts from the government’s side which will weaken the party and destroy organisational strength. This will make our leaders and activists upset ahead of the next national polls,” he added.