The rejoinder stated that after the BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia was imprisoned following a biased verdict, Tarique Rahman took over as acting chairman in accordance to the party’s constitution and, despite the government’s continuous conspiracies, has successfully upheld the party’s unity and solidarity under his leadership.

It says he holds regular meetings with the party’s highest policy-making forum, the standing committee, and also takes and implements all decisions in consultation with the leaders of all levels within the party. He even keeps in regular contact with the BNP-affiliated fronts as well as with the grassroots leaders and activists.

The rejoinder further says the views of leaders from all levels are manifest in the acting chairperson’s decisions and programmes. His leadership is beyond question. The acting chairman does not control the elections to the district and city committees of BNP and its affiliated fronts. The leadership of the district, upazila and all units of the party were elected democratically, in keeping with the party constitution.

It also said the statement that the committees were formed in accordance to the acting chairman’s wishes is baseless and fabricated. There is no conflict between the old and the young leadership of the party. BNP is going ahead in a unified manner under the astute leadership of Tarique Rahman and everybody’s joint efforts.

In its rejoinder, BNP further said that Tarique Rahman had taken the helm of BNP even under the misrule of Awami League. No smear campaign or challenge would be able to ‘minus’ him from politics. Even the 1/11 government had failed to do so.

BNP claims that those in power are carrying out planned propaganda to render Khaleda Zia, Tarique Rahman and BNP controversial and weak. They were trying to create confusion and a negative perception about them among the party leaders and activists, well-wishers and the people in general. The report published in Prothom Alo regarding BNP’s acting chairman Tarique Rahman and BNP was unwarranted and unfortunate.

Also protesting against the Prothom Alo report, separately, were the party’s affiliated fronts Chhatra Dal, Mahila Dal, Swechchhashebok Dal and Matsajibi Dal. These fronts also termed the Prothom Alo report as baseless, fabricated, motivated and malicious.

Correspondent’s response

The report highlighted the party’s organisational situation and the position of its leaders, after talking to important leaders at different levels in BNP. The report also mentioned certain specific incidents related to organisational matters. The report was compiled in a professional manner with all facts and information along with statements of responsible persons within the party.

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