Monday, March 25, 2019

Oikya Prokriya, BNP to work together for fair elections, Khaleda’s release

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2018-10-08 00:38:44 BdST


The Jatiya Oikya Prokriya platform of AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury and Dr Kamal Hossain has agreed to work with the BNP for the same demands for fair polls and the release of Khaleda Zia.

The leaders of the two sides held a meeting at senior BNP leader Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain’s house at Gulshan in Dhaka on Sunday night.    

“We have forged a unity with the BNP. We will organise all the programmes in and outside Dhaka together from now on,” Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal-JSD chief ASM Abdur Rab told the media after the meeting. 

“We (Oikya Prokriya and BNP) have arrived at a consensus on the five points for fair and impartial elections in today’s meeting. We will also fix the programmes together,” Rab said.

File Photo: Leaders of the BNP and the Jatiya Oikya Prokriya at a rally in Dhaka on Sept 22, 2018.

File Photo: Leaders of the BNP and the Jatiya Oikya Prokriya at a rally in Dhaka on Sept 22, 2018.

The JSD is a member of the Jukto Front alliance that also has Bikalpadhara Bangladesh of Badruddoza, and Mahmudur Rahman Manna’s Nagorik Oikya - all tiny parties by membership.

The Jukto Front, with Badruddoza as its head, recently formed the platform the Jatiya Oikya Prokriya with Dr Kamal’s Gono Forum.

Neither Badruddoza nor Dr Kamal was present in Sunday’s meeting.

Besides Rab and Manna, Bikalpadhara Secretary General MA Mannan, Oikya Prokriya Member Secretary ABM Mostafa Amin and Gono Forum leaders Subrata Chowdhury and Mostafa Mohsin Montu attended the around one and a half hours of meeting. 

Pro-BNP professionals’ leader Gonoshasthaya Kendra Trustee Zafrullah Chowdhury, former DUCSU VP Sultan Mohammad Mansur and Abdur Rab’s wife Tania Rab were also in attendance.

Among the BNP leaders, besides Mosharraf, Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and Standing Committee Member Moudud Ahmed attended the meeting.

In the meeting with a BNP representative at Baduddoza’s home on Sept 25, the Bikalpadhara gave a condition for the BNP to leave the Jamaat-e-Islami if it wanted an alliance with the Bikalpadhara.

The BNP held a meeting with its partners, including the Jamaat, in the 20-Party Alliance later, but did not clear its position on the Bikalpadhara condition.

Dodging a direct answer, Rab said, “We’ve decided on a larger national unity of all the secular and progressive forces, and democratic minds that believe in the spirit of the Liberation War, keeping the anti-liberation forces out. Today’s meeting has made it clearer.”

Bikalpadhra asked BNP to pick either Jamaat or AQM Badruddoza’s party for alliance. File Photo

Bikalpadhra asked BNP to pick either Jamaat or AQM Badruddoza’s party for alliance. File Photo

The Oikya Prokriya has placed a five-point charter of demand, including non-partisan election-time government, reforms to the Election Commission and deployment of army during polls.

These are the BNP’s demands also, but the party wants its chief Khaleda freed before the election as well. She has been in jail after her conviction in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case in February.  

Rab said, “We don’t know why the three-time prime minister Khaleda Zia has been kept in jail even after she secured bail in the main case.

“We obviously want unconditional release of all prisoners of state, and those arrested during quota protests, safe road protests and on false charges,” he added.

Moudud said they agreed on the five points and the release of Khaleda.

“We will announce programmes together over these demands,” he said.

The ruling Awami League has already rejected the demands.

It says the next election will be held with its chief Sheikh Hasina as the prime minister following the constitution.

And Khaleda’s release depends on the court, according to the ruling party leaders.