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Infighting disrupts drive to overhaul BNP, assoc bodies

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bnp-logoA Correspondent
Khaleda Zia’s drive to overhaul BNP and its associate bodies with a strong push reshuffling the leadership both at the centre and the grassroots level aiming to wage a decisive movement has apparently suffered a setback due to growing infightings, putting the party in disorder.
BNP, now an out-of-parliament opposition party, has faced strong resentments and violent protests since the announcement of committees of its BNP Dhaka city unit, its labor wing Jatiyatabadi Sramik Dal and student wing Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal.
The party senior leaders and political analysts attributed the commotion to its undemocratic practice in choosing new leaders instead of making it through holding councils.
They said all the committees of the party and its wings so far formed were made as per the will and choice of some individuals, ignoring many dedicated and competent leaders that intensified the intra-party conflicts. “New committees of Sramik Dal and Chhatra Dal are the glaring examples of it. This ugly infighting could have been avoided by constituting the committees through holding councils,” a BNP leader said wishing anonymity.
Those who were left out of the committees staged violent protests at different parts of the country, including Dhaka.
A series of violent clashes have also taken place in Barisal, Rajshahi, Sylhet, Rangpur, Chhittagong and Feni over the announcement of new committees and dissolution of old ones of BNP and its associate bodies.
Some BNP leaders think intra-party feuds are harming the party’s preparations for the final agitation against the government and frustrating the party rank and file while some other leaders claimed such rivalry is quite natural and not a matter of serious concern for a big and popular party like BNP.
“BNP is a very big party and it has many capable leaders at its all levels. But we can’t accommodate them all. So those whom we can’t induct in committees they naturally turn aggrieved,” party’s acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said.
He, however, claimed that there is no conflict among their party men but has competition for having posts in different committees.
About the crisis over the JCD new committee, Fakhrul said they have taken necessary steps to resolve it. “I hope the problem will be over within a short time.”
He, however, disagreed with his party colleagues that the problem over the formation of committees could have been avoided had those been formed through holding councils.
“As there’re many leaders of the same quality, they’ve a competition among themselves to have the same post in a committee. So, you can’t guarantee that there will be no commotion if the committee is formed through holding a council,” Fakhrul said.
BNP standing committee member Lt Gen (retd) Mahbubur Rahman said, “I think the situation might not have turned that much worse if the fresh committees had been formed through holding councils in a democratic manner.”
He said the infighting over forming the committees of BNP and its associate bodies are the outcome of long-practiced sick politics in the country. It’s applicable for all parties -- BNP, Awami League. No party in Bangladesh has democracy within itself.”
Agreeing with Fakrul that as a big party there is an intense competition among the party men to have posts in the committees of BNP, he said when this competition turns ugly and violent then that is embarrassing for the party.
Political analyst and ex-VC of Dhaka University Prof Imajuddin Ahmed said BNP should have reorganized it before the January-5 election. “I think this is not the right time to reconstitute committees when the party is going to launch a fresh movement.”
He also thinks the commotion over the formation of party committees can be avoided through holding councils.