BNP AT GRASSROOTS
Rivalries for party tickets deepen as polls nearRashed Ahmed Mitul
Central leaders of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party who recently visited the party’s organisational districts witnessed deep rivalries among local leaders over nomination for contesting the next general elections.
The leaders think the disputes should be settled quickly for attaining desired results both in the ongoing movement and next general elections.
‘There are problems in local leadership over the party tickets in the next parliamentary polls. Otherwise, there are no major problems and the organisation is strong enough,’ a BNP leader told New Age on Thursday who was given the responsibility to assess the organisational situation of a unit in Chittagong.
BNP’s intra-party conflicts in Chittagong district south, north and city came in the open recently following clashes between rival groups of the party in presence of central leaders.
BNP standing committee member Mahbubur Rahman told New Age on Friday that there were some problems in the field-level leaderships and efforts were being made to mend their relations.
He was given responsibility to assess the organisational strength of the party in Thakurgaon and Panchagarh districts.
In reply to a question, Mahbub, also a former army chief, said the rivalries were over personality, supremacy and candidature for next
He, however, found field-level leaders and activists united for the ‘final phase’ of the movement for an election-time non-party government. BNP chairperson’s advisory council member Ahmad Azam told New Age that he did not find any intra-party conflicts in Narail district where he was given the responsibility.
He said local BNP leaders had repeatedly said the party should give nomination to dedicated leaders who had suffered and ‘repression’ and in jail during the last four years and a half.
Azam said the local leaders had told him that the party should not give nomination to any newcomers to the party or those who had not been active in the party in recent times.
BNP had formed 56 teams headed by senior and mid-level leaders, including members of its national standing committee,vice-chairmen, members of BNP chairperson’s advisory council, joint secretaries general, organising secretaries and publicity secretary to assess organisational strength of the party at grassroots level as it was preparing for the ‘final phase’ of movement and also keeping in view the next polls.
The teams were asked complete their tasks in 75 organisational districts by August 31and submit their evaluation reports by
September 10 to the party chairperson Khaleda Zia.
BNP joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi told New Age on Thursday that so far about 15 teams had submitted their reports.
Some of the team leaders told New Age that they had found rivalries among the district level leaders over the party tickets for the next polls.
They said the conflicts had deepened with the elections nearing as BNP leaders and activists thought the party’s chances in the polls were bright.
Such conflicts are evident in the districts, including Satkhira, Rangpur, Rajshahi, Moulvibazar, Jamalpur, Meherpur, Manikganj, Narayanganj and Chuadanga, the party sources said.
A local leader of Satkhira BNP, Amanullah Aman, was killed in the town on September 6 in bloody clashes between the party’s rival groups.
Long rivalry between Satkhira district BNP president Habibul Islam Habib and general secretary Syed Iftekhar Ali over establishing supremacy had led to the clashes, the party sources said.
Habib, a former lawmaker, is reported to be backing an aspirant of the party against Iftekhar for the party ticket in next general election, the sources said.
BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain told New Age that he had found the Sylhet district and city units well organised.
Asked about the intra-party conflicts in different districts, he said such rivalries in a large political party like BNP, particularly before polls, were nothing unusual.
The BNP chairperson had instructed the team leaders to make assessments of the organisational strength at grassroots and their preparations for the next phase of movement, Azam said.
The problems and weaknesses that still remain, should be minimised by October before the ‘final phase’ of movement, he said.
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