Senior Correspondent bdnews24.com
Published: 2017-12-04 23:48:06 BdST
In the new coalition, Bikalpadhara has Rab’s Jatiya Samajtantrik DAL-JSD, Abdul Kader Siddique-headed Krishak Sramik Janata League and Mahmudur Rahman Manna’s Nagorik Oikya as partners.
Badruddoza said uniting the people on the demand for free and fair elections under a ‘neutral’ government would be their ‘first target’.
Former president Badruddoza, who formed his party after ditching the BNP, had floated an alliance, NDF, with Kader Siddique and Rab before the 2014 general elections, but boycotted the balloting as did the BNP.
The BNP stayed away from the vote as its demand for a neutral caretaker government to oversee the parliamentary polls were ignored, while the NDF said it would not take part in an election without everyone’s participation.
Ahead of the 11th parliamentary polls, which are scheduled between late 2018 and early 2019, they were moving to form a new alliance again for quite some time.
After police gatecrashed their meeting at Rab’s house recently, they sat at Badruddoza’s Baridhara residence.
Kader Siddique was absent in the past two meetings of these parties but attended Monday’s one.
Besides Badruddoza, Kader Siddique, Rab, and Manna, Bikalpadhara Secretary General Abdul Mannan, Joint Secretary General Mahi B Chowdhury, JSD General Secretary Abdul Malek Ratan, Krishak Sramik Janata League General Secretary Habibur Rahman Habib and Nagorik Oikya coordinator Shahidullah Kaiser attended the meeting held from evening until around 10pm.
After the meeting, Badruddoza told bdnews24.com: “The new alliance with the name ‘Jukto Front’ has been announced.
“We will unite the people from across the country in order to hold a free and fair election under a neutral government. This will be our first job,” he said.
Badruddoza will be convenor of the new alliance while Manna will be member secretary for now.
Rab said they would announce details of the new alliance at a media briefing ‘in due time’.
Rab, now a critic of the Awami League government, was close to military ruler HM Ershad and later a minister in Sheikh Hasina's 1996 cabinet.
Manna, a former leader of Rab's JSD, lost his post of organising secretary in the Awami League after being marked as a reformist during the military-controlled caretaker government’s tenure.
Kader Siddique, a freedom fighter decorated with the title Bir Uttam, was also involved with the Awami League. He formed his own party after leaving the Awami League two decades ago.
Badruddoza, the founding secretary general of the BNP, became a minister when the party came to power with Khaleda Zia as prime minister in 1991.
He became president of Bangladesh when the BNP returned to power in 2001, but had to leave the post shortly after taking oath.