BNP makes all sorts of calculations before its ‘final movement’

BNP logoFile photo

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is going to announce their new programme with a 10-point demand, including the resignation of the government soon. The programme may start with demonstrations, human chains, sit-in programmes or big rallies across the country. The party is also considering programmes like road marches from one division to another.

BNP standing committee will hold a meeting today. Several reliable sources in the party say the draft of the upcoming programme will be finalised at the standing committee meeting today. The programmes will be finalised in consensus with the parties and alliances involved in the simultaneous movement against the government.

Several sources at BNP’s policy making level say they will continue holding these programmes on a regular basis for some. The announcement of big programmes like sit-in programmes in Dhaka may come in the final stage.

However, the policy makers are yet to finalise when the final stage of their movement will start. They are now calculating several issues before announcing the final programme.

The 12th general election is scheduled to be held by the end of December or in early January next year. Therefore, BNP has less than eight months in hand.

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BNP leaders at policy making level said they had to consider a number of issues before finalising their programmes. First, the monsoon will last from mid-June to the end of July. Besides, the nation will celebrate the holy Eid-ul-Azha by the end of June. Therefore, rain and Eid holidays will affect their programmes announced at this time.

And then comes August, the month of mourning. The ruling Awami League will have programmes throughout the month. Therefore, the BNP wants to avoid any programme in the month of August. And the election schedule is likely to be announced in November. Therefore, the BNP actually has only two months, September and October, to realise their demands.

Several BNP leaders at policy making level, believe that the government may announce an early election to throw BNP off balance by not giving them any time before the polls.

So the BNP is planning their final programmes considering four factors – monsoon, Eid holidays, the month of mourning and early election. The party is also in discussion with the leaders of the parties and alliances involved in the simultaneous movement against the government.

However, BNP vice-chairman Abdul Awal Mintu told Prothom that the people will decide the course of the movement once it starts. And the monsoon or the month of mourning would not matter in that case, he added.

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Several reliable sources in BNP say that they have been holding programmes like demonstrations, human chains, road marches and sit-in programmes over the last eight months on a regular basis. The party is now considering programmes like road marches outside Dhaka.

However, there is dissent among the grassroot leaders about programmes like road marches outside Dhaka, the sources said.

On condition of anonymity, several district level leaders of the BNP said that in their view, the party’s movement lacks momentum mainly in the capital. Besides, the University of Dhaka is known as the powerhouse of any movement. Therefore, movements excluding these two places won’t go very far. So, the policymakers should focus more on these two places.

However, speaking to Prothom Alo, BNP standing committee member Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury said, “We are ready to take any initiative needed to make our movement a success.”

Meanwhile a major leader of the Ganatantra Mancha has termed the programmes that BNP is planning to hold, as a trial only to create hype. The hype of the movement that emerged last December has lost its momentum over the last few months, according to him. Ganatantra Mancha is a part of the simultaneous movement led by the BNP.

Speaking to the sources concerned, it has been learnt that the target of the BNP central leaders is to take the movement to its final stage gradually. They want to create a movement-oriented environment like they did in last November and December.

Asked regarding this, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said, “We are still in discussion regarding our course of action in the upcoming months.”

*This report appeared on the print and online versions of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten in English by Ashish Basu