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BNP trying to mobilize greater anti-govt platform

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GM Report
In a changed strategy, BNP has sketched out a plan to bring all the political parties -- both left and right ones -- outside its 20-party alliance but highly critical of the coalition government, aiming to mount a greater pressure on the government to hold an inclusive early election.
Party insiders said they have already started working on building such platform by December next as they think it will help make the government isolated further alongside invigorating opposition activists and foreign diplomats.
A source close to BNP chairperson said Khaleda Zia has assigned BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir to work in this regard.
BNP is trying to persuade some opposition parties, including Gano Forum, Bikalpa Dhara, Krishak Sramik Janata League, ASM Abdur Rob-led Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, Nagorik Oikya, Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal (BSD) and some Islamic parties, to be there in the platform in addition to the 20-party partners.
According to sources, most parties are ready to get on the same boat with BNP while a few unwilling due to Jamaat’s participation in it and they want BNP to clear its position about the Islamic party which top leaders are convicted for war crimes.
Under this circumstance, they said, Khaleda may talk to the top leaders of the parties unwilling to join the platform and try to convince them.
BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam told that they were sincerely working to make united the political parties irrespective of their ideologies in a bid to form a common platform to wage a simultaneous anti-government strong movement.
“We’re in close touch with different political parties outside our alliance to float a single platform with a specific goal for forcing the current unauthorized and unacceptable regime to quit and hold a fresh inclusive election under a non-party administration,” he said.
The BNP spokesman said there is no alternative to forging a national consensus and bringing all opposition political parties -- both the left and right ones -- under the same umbrella at this critical juncture of the country in a bid to restore democracy, people’s rights and establish a government elected by people.
He, however, said even there can be separate platforms with the common goal of unseating this regime like that of ones during the late 80s anti-Ershad movement. “We call upon all to join our platform. But if some parties don’t want to join our platform they can form another one with the same goal. We can work from different podiums but can push for the same demand and it will be very effective.”
UNB adds, BNP standing committee member Lt Gen (rtd) Mahbubur Rahman said they have already prepared the ground works and completed other preparations for making a platform of the opposition political parties vocal against the current ‘unrepresentative and undemocratic’ regime.
“We the 20-pary has long been on a movement to restore democracy. Some other parties are also vocal against this regime and demanding snap polls from their respective positions. If we all raise our voices from the same platform it will be very effective to make a very stronger public opinion at both home and abroad,” he said.
Mahbub, also a former army chief, said a united and strong platform of political parties will also help counter the government’s repressive acts and attack on the opposition’s peaceful programs.
Abdul Mobin, chairman of Islamic Party, a partner of BNP-led 20-party, said many parties, including Islamic ones, are eager to wage a simultaneous movement under a platform to oust the current government. “Some parties are contacting us and we’re also contacting some others to this end.”
He said the BNP chairperson may form a steering committee soon from the 20-partry alliance to intensify the process of bringing all the opposition parties under the same umbrella before starting their decisive movement.