More than 50 leaders and activists from different political parties, including the Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), have joined the Trinamool BNP, a newly registered political party that the opposition claims is a plot by the ruling bloc.
At an event at the National Press Club, Trinamool BNP chairman Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury and its secretary general Taimur Alam Khondokar welcomed the new members.
However, among the new members were no familiar or central leaders of BNP and other political parties. Still, the party declared to field candidates in all the constituencies in the upcoming national polls.
Asked about the party's future plan, Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury told Prothom Alo, "Keep observing what unfolds in the future, who join the party."
The programme commenced at 11:30 AM. In the first phase, former district and sessions judge Sirajul Islam, former advisor to Jatiya Party chairman Col (retd) Sabbir Ahmed, Sharifujjaman Khan from the Tangail-5 constituency, and lawyer Mahbub Hasan from Savar formally joined the party.
Later, individuals who identified themselves as residents of different constituencies and activists from different political parties joined the party.
Shahidul Islam, a resident of the Tangail-4 constituency, said, "I was a teacher by profession, and I joined the party voluntarily, without any persuasion."
At the joining programme, Mainuddin, a resident of the Cumilla-2 constituency, identified himself as the secretary general of the Bangladesh Palli Unnayan Party, while another, Abul Bashar Chowdhury, a resident of the Bagerhat-4 constituency, claimed to be the secretary general of the Bangladesh Deshpremik Party.
I hope the election commission would ensure a level playing field by fully exercising its powers
Others who joined Trinamool BNP include Mohammad Ali, resident of Netrokona-2 constituency and former publicity secretary of Chhatra League; Santosh Sharma, resident of Chattogram-8 and former leader of Chhatra League; Khayez Ahmed Bhuiyan, resident of Feni-3 and former activists of BNP; Ivy Sarkar, a Jatiya Party Central Committee member; and Lashkar Harunur Rashid, an activist of LDP.
The remaining ones were residents of various constituencies across the country, while some identified themselves as leaders of lesser-known parties.
However, all of them criticised the BNP for its ongoing movement against the government and alleged that the party is plotting to foil the next election through arson.
They stressed keeping the current development spree in the country unhampered. Some even speculated that Trinamool BNP might become the main opposition party in the parliament.
Every member of the party would be considered as a leader, and the party would approach the people at grassroots level.
Addressing the programme, Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury said Trinamool BNP is an election-oriented party and will participate in the upcoming elections. "I hope the election commission would ensure a level playing field by fully exercising its powers."
He also said his party would field candidates in all 300 constituencies, as they do not believe in politics of violence.
The general secretary, Taimur Alam Khondokar, said the Trinamool BNP would be a party of the people, instead of a limited company. Every member of the party would be considered as a leader, and the party would approach the people at grassroots level. It will be the Bangladesh version of Trinamool Congress, an Indian political party influential in West Bengal.
The top two leaders of Trinamool BNP were central leaders of BNP, the de facto opposition.
However, Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury resigned from his position as the vice president of BNP on 28 October 2015, while Taimur Alam Khondokar, a former advisor to BNP chief Begum Khaleda Zia, was expelled in January 2022.
They were elected as the leaders of Trinamool BNP when the party convened its inaugural council at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh auditorium in Dhaka on 19 September. The party formed a partial 27-member committee through the council.
The Trinamool BNP was founded by Nazmul Huda, who served as a minister in the cabinet of the Khaleda Zia-led government in 1991 and 2001. He severed ties with the BNP in 2012 and subsequently formed a new party called BNF. Later, he was expelled by BNF chief coordinator Abul Kalam Azad.
In the following move, Nazmul Huda formed two political parties – Bangladesh National Alliance (BNA) and Bangladesh Manobadhikar Party (BMP). Finally, he formed one more and it was the Trinamool BNP.
Before the 11th parliamentary polls, the Trinamool BNP applied to the election commission (EC) seeking registration as a political party, but was denied. Later, the party took the issue to the court and secured registration in February this year.
But its founder Nazmul Huda passed away within days of securing the status of a registered political party. His daughter Antara Selima Huda took over the position and became acting chairman of the party.