New political alliance in the offing

Gono Forum president Dr Kamal Hossain, NAP president Pankaj Bhattacharya, CPB president Shah Alam, JSD (faction) president Sharif Nurul Ambia and BSD general secretary KhalequzzamanProthom Alo file photo

An initiative has been taken to form a new alliance to emerge as an alternative political force outside the circle of Awami League and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).

Five left leaning and progressive political parties have already joined the alliance and senior politician and NAP (united) president Pankaj Bhattacharya is coordinating this.

Pankaj Bhattyacharya has already discussed the matter with Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) and Gono Forum led by Dr Kamal Hossain.

Speaking to Prothom Alo on Sunday, Pankaj Bhattyacharya said, “It could emerge as an alternative left progressive democratic front against the two known poles in the politics of our country. The final declaration in this regard may come in January."

There is already an alliance with eight left leaning parties named Left Democratic Alliance. The CPB and Socialist Party of Bangladesh (BASAD) are part of this alliance.

Sources concerned said the CPB and BASAD seem to be positive in joining the new alliance. There are two possibilities. They may be parts of both alliances or they may wage simultaneous programmes.

The trend of forming and dissolving new alliances is common in politics. However, it becomes more frequent during the times prior to the national election.

The opposition parties, including BNP, had formed the Jatiya Oikya Front ahead of the national election in 2018.

The BNP had officially dissolved their 20-party alliance as part of their strategy recently. Some parties of the 20-party alliance, Ganosamhati Andolon and Revolutionary Workers Party of Bangladesh together with four other parties have formed a new alliance named the ‘Ganatantra Mancha’. These parties and alliances will launch a simultaneous movement.

On the other hand the 14-party alliance led by the ruling Awami League is still active. The Krishak Sramik Janata League was part of the Oikya Front before the last national election. However, Kader Siddique, chief of the Krishak Sramik Janata League, recently held a meeting with prime minister Sheikh Hasina. There are wide speculations about this meeting in the political arena of Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, the people relevant with the initiative to form the left progressive alliance say their initiative is not election-centric only. Their main target is to form an alternative political force outside the circle of Awami League and BNP.

Speaking to Prothom Alo, CPB general secretary Ruhin Hossain Prince said, “The two leading political alliances have turned the politics into a game. We want to form a new alliance to break this cycle. We will hold a meeting with the leaders of NAP (unity) in this regard on 2 January.