Will BNP fall into another trap for its political miscalculations?
September 28th, 2020 at 6:19 pm
Will BNP fall into another trap for its political miscalculations?

by Omer Selim Sher in Ottawa;-

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) was established under the leadership of assassinated Major General Ziaur Rahman while he was still in power. Using military intelligence under state patronage, the group brought in leaders from various parties. It was formed to consolidate the power of Ziaur Rahman. BNP is a “mixture party” of different ideals and principles.

An analysis of history shows that the BNP never came to power through credible elections and popular vote. Ziaur Rahman seized power illegally. They had to lose that power, through another military coup. General Ershad came to power in 1982. Then the BNP struggled for a long movement. After the fall of Ershad in 1990, the election of 1991 was a conspiratorial election.

A recent analysis of data from Pakistan’s ISI and various intelligence agencies show that there was an international conspiracy to ensure a BNP win the election. In the 2001 elections too, the BNP influenced the outcome of the elections by colluding allegedly with India. A situation was created using the administration, which did not reflect the real attitude of the people in the vote. The BNP-Jamaat alliance won that election.

In early 1996, the BNP held a farce election. No people voted in that election. Even though no voting has taken place in more than 200 constituencies, the results of the rigged polls have been shown. That farce election was cancelled and new election was held and AL came to power in 1996. Therefore, analyzing the political character of the BNP, it is seen that the BNP has always come to power through any other force or conspiracy or collusion with foreigners. The BNP has no history of coming to power by direct vote. Political analysts think that the BNP like previous days is again conspiring in the same way.

Bangladesh politics Khaleda Zia
Former Bangladeshi Prime Minister Khaleda Zia is being tranported to central jail after she was convicted in a graft case on February 8, 2018

When the BNP is not in power, they do not use the power of the people against the ruling party. Instead, they choose the path of various conspiracies and intrigues. If we look deep, the BNP did not participate in the 1986 elections, as part of a conspiracy. They were told from various quarters not to participate in that election. The BNP took that decision to keep Ershad’s administration alive.

Similarly, in 2014, the BNP was asked by various foreign quarters not to go to the polls. They were given the idea that the Awami League government would fall if they did not go to the polls. Although that strategy was not a success, many BNP leaders admitted that it was a trap and they suffered heavily. The BNP is still not dependent on the people. Their organizing capacity as a political party on the issues of the people, uniting the people step by step through movement struggle is not about these issues.

On the contrary, we are hearing rumours of various palace conspiracies. Recently, Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader said that the BNP is trying all kinds of tricks and conspiracies in Saudi Arabia, Dubai and London. AL is keeping abreast of all BNP’s conspiracies, tricks and misdeeds.

Now the global context has changed. One thing has become clear for the last 12 years there was no alternative to Sheikh Hasina in Bangladesh. Sheikh Hasina has reached such a height with her wisdom and political foresight that the international community respects her. The international community depends on her as a worthy leader who is giving the right leadership to take Bangladesh forward.

Despite many shortcomings, deviations, corruption and misconceptions of the Awami League government, due to skills and strategic intelligence of Sheikh Hasina, all the influential people in the country and abroad have confidence on the ruling Awami League.

And so, the question arises as to whether the BNP is now trying anew to negotiate with India. Is the BNP deviating from its original character through this – is it a trap to de-depoliticize the BNP, to bankrupt the BNP further just as it fell into the trap in 2014? Is it time now to move away from the anti-India position by negotiating with various quarters?

The question has arisen within the BNP itself as to whether the BNP is going to lose the anti-Awami vote bank in Bangladesh by leaving Jamaat or changing various policies and strategies?

Several BNP leaders think that the BNP should stand on the strength of the people. The BNP’s anti-India vote bank, the anti-Awami League vote bank, must be trusted. Will the changed form of the BNP now be able to make the BNP reorganize completely? Can the BNP be trusted by foreigners?

Or will the BNP fall into this trap and will go bankrupt again?  This is now the main debate within the BNP.

I have a suggestion for BNP. They can come back to politics then it should believe in liberation war spirit, Joy Bangla and most importantly admit the fault of 15 August and recognizing the Bangabandhu as the Father of the Nation.

NOTE: This article is based on the various Bangladeshi media reports.

Omer Sher is a retired Professor of Economics at Algonquin College, Ottawa, Canada and a researcher on politics in South Asia.