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BNP standing committee member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, however, told Prothom Alo, “That is different matter whether we launch movement. The government has hinted at an early election. We have no interaction with leaders and activists due to the environment and situation. It is necessary to understand the situation in the field and the pulse of grassroots leaders and activists. We have to go ahead by understanding this."

For the first time, BNP is going to hold such a meeting without presence of Khaleda Zia. BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman will preside over the meeting virtually from London.

In absence of his mother Khaleda Zia, Tarique takes over the charge of the party and the executive committee meeting under his leadership is being held for the first time.

According to the party sources, BNP vice chairmen and chairperson’s advisors would sit initially at 3:30pm in the three-day meeting. In the second day, senior joint secretaries general, joint secretaries general, organising secretaries, secretaries and assistant secretaries would meet.

In the third day on Thursday, central leaders of the BNP-affiliated organisations would sit in the meeting. The invited participants are requested to be present at Khaleda’s Gulshan office 30 minutes before starting of the meeting.

Talking about the meeting, BNP vice chairman Md Shajahan told Prothom Alo, “I guess the organisational meeting would emphasis on anti-government movement.”

However, Shajahan is not going to attend the meeting as he was diagnosed with Covid-positive on Monday.

BNP’s central executive committee is comprised of 592 members. Of them, 13 members represent the standing committee, 35 are vice chairmen and 82 are BNP chairperson’s advisors.

Besides, one senior joint secretary general, seven joint secretaries general, 10 organising secretaries and 161 are bearing secretary-level responsibilities in the party. Ten top leaders including standing committee members, vice chairman and chairperson’s advisor have died.

Before the 14 September meeting, BNP held meeting of the central executive committee in February 2018. After four days of that meeting, Khaleda Zia was sent to jail.

On 9 September, prime minister Sheikh Hasina, also president of Awami League, instructed party leaders and activists to start preparation for the next parliamentary election. Hasina gave this instruction while chairing the party’s central working committee meeting that day.

Following Sheikh Hasina’s call, Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader also advised BNP leaders to take preparation for the election instead of wasting time. The ruling party is going to establish a social media-centric platform with 100,000 pro-Awami League online activists prior to the election.

Recently delivered speeches of some ruling party leaders appeared as a bit of election campaign. Amid the improvement of the Covid situation, other political parties too have ended their quarantine period.

Talking about the three-day meeting, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told Prothom Alo, “The situation was not normal for so many days. We could not do many crucial works. As the situation is turning normal, we have resumed the necessary jobs. We will discuss political issues with the leaders and activists.”

* The original report appeared in the print and online editions of Prothom Alo, has been rewritten in English by Sadiqur Rahman.

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