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BNP leaders meet Abbas to convince him

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Staff Reporter

In the wake of Dhaka city unit BNP’s new convener’s displeasure over the ‘unwarranted inclusion’ of nearly 20 names in the committee, a group of BNP leaders on Sunday had a closed-door meeting with Mirza Abbas to convince him to start work immediately.

Party sources said the BNP leaders, led by new committee’s number-1 joint convener Abdul Awal Mintoo, held over the three-hour meeting with Abbas at his Shajahanpur residence.

A joint convener of the committee who was present at the meeting told UNB that they elaborately discussed the unexpected inclusion of some members in the committee and requested Abbas to start the committee’s activities soon putting behind the differences of opinion.

He said they have been able to persuade Abbas as he agreed to throw an Iftar party in a day or two in honour of all members of the new committee and thus work out their next course of action.

BNP joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi on Friday night announced the 52-member committee of the unit at a press conference at the party’s Nayapaltan central office.

Mirza Abbas has been made convener of the committee replacing his arch rival and BNP vice chairman Sadeque Hossain Khoka, now in the USA for treatment, while BNP chairperson’s adviser and former FBCCI president Abdul Awal Mintoo number one joint convener of the committee. Habibun Nabi Sohel has been made member secretary of the new convening committee.

Though the much-hyped committee was announced, Abbas and some other top leaders were said to have been unhappy over the inclusion of some names and a post in the committee changing the one the party chief had approved first.

The joint convener of the committee, wishing anonymity, said BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia on Thursday midnight had approved a 31-member new convening body of the Dhaka city unit after a meeting with party senior leaders, including Fakhrul, Abbas and Mintoo. But much to the surprise of Abbas and top leaders of the committee it was announced a 52-member committee on Friday night.

He said the committee was to be declared on Thursday midnight, but a vested quarter delayed it and announced it on Friday night after including some people loyal to Khoka in the committee later on Friday some how managing Khaleda, only to make Abbas angry.

Abbas was also upset as Habibun Nabi Sohel has been made member secretary of the committee despite a decision that there would be no such post in the committee unlike in the past.

The joint convener also said the names of BNP leaders Khairul Kabir Khokon, Mohammad Shahjahan and Abdus Salam Azad were excluded from the new committee disregarding Abbas’ lobby for them.

Abbas disappointment got exposed as he refused to meet journalists and BNP leaders and activists, except Habibun Nabi Sohel, who had been in his residence on Saturday.

Abbas was also learned to have expressed displeasure over it when Sohel met him.

Party sources said BNP standing committee member Rafiqul Islam Mia, chairperson’s adviser Abdul Awal Mintoo, party leaders Abul Khair Bhuiyan, Moazzem Hossain Alal, Abu Sayeed Khan Khokon and MA Quaium also got disappointed as they did not get their desired position in the committee.

According to the sources, the leaders loyal to Rafiqul Islam Miah were also ignored in the committee.