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Khoka to quit city convener post

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Staff Reporter
Amid widespread criticisms about his ‘dubious’ role during the party’s pre-election movement, BNP vice-president Sadeque Hossain Khoka has decided to resign from the post of convener of the party’s Dhaka city unit.
He came up with the announcement while addressing a press conference at city’s Bhashani Hall yesterday.
“I’ve already conveyed my decision to party Chairperson Khaleda Zia,” he told reporters.
Khoka, however, said he will continue his duty until someone replaces him.
“I feel the urgency to reorganize and strengthen the Dhaka city unit of BNP. I had sent a message from the jail to the leader (Khaleda Zia) requesting her to reorganize the Dhaka city unit. I believe in democracy. I’ve performed responsibly for long 17 years,” the BNP vice chairman claimed.
Khoka said they arranged the press conference to clear their stance as different newspapers ran reports about the Dhaka city unit, and party leaders are also indulged in blame game over the role of the unit.
Replying to a question, the BNP leader said he is not going to quit forthwith. “I’m willing to carry out my responsibility until a new committee takes over the charge of the unit. But I’m unwilling to perform my duty holding the same post in the new committee. I want new leadership to take over the charge of the Dhaka city unit.”
Khoka said he has proposed to the chairperson for making BNP standing committee member Mirza Abbas convener of the new committee of the Dhaka city unit. If Abbas expresses unwillingness then Abdul Awawl Mintoo or Hannan Shah can be made the chief of the committee, he added.
Khoka said he will extend all-out cooperation to the party chief in revitalizing the unit as per her wish.
The BNP leader claimed that their pre-election movement had not been unsuccessful. “Our failure isn’t there in making the movement a success. But we couldn’t face the government forces (law enforcers).”
“No movement can be successful braving repressive measures. The government had resorted to measures like ‘shoot at sight’, killing and forced disappearance,” he told the journalists.
Mentioning that eight senior leaders were given the responsibility to strengthen the movement in the city, he said Hannan Shah and he were in jail. “But what did the rest six leaders do? They must shoulder the responsibility first for the failure and then the Dhaka city unit.”
Khoka expressed his gratitude to Khaleda for keeping him at the helm of the Dhaka city unit BNP for a long time.
Khoka, also a former city mayor, has been leading the Dhaka city unit since 1996. The BNP chief constituted the last committee of the unit in May, 2011 making Khoka as its convener while Abdus Salam member secretary.
Though they were given the charge to form a full-fledged committee of the unit within six months through holding councils, the convening committee could not do it in the last three years.
At a meeting on March 10, BNP policymakers elaborately discussed with a great importance the formation of the Dhaka city unit BNP.
Most of the standing committee members suggested dissolving the current convening committee headed by Sadeque Hossain Khoka.
The party policymakers also backed the idea of forming a 21-member new convening committee of the unit within a short time to streamline the party’s most important unit.
On February 10, Khaleda sat with the senior leaders of Dhaka city unit BNP harshly criticized them for their role in the anti-government movement before the January 5 national election.

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