Dhaka, Jan 2 (UNB) – In the wake of Sunday’s drubbing in the national election, BNP policymakers are struggling to find out suitable measures to stay afloat in the post-election politics.
Party senior leaders said they are now in a fix to work out their next course of action as some think the party should now focus on the issue relating to election and force the government to hold a fresh election while others want the party to give priority to strengthening it and revitalising its rank and file.
A BNP standing committee member said most of their colleagues want the party to closely observe the situation and keep in touch with foreign friends and international bodies and rejuvenate party grassroots instead of going for any movement right now.
However, he said, some leaders think BNP should wage a movement to mount pressure on the government and the Election Commission to annul the election and thus give the party grassroots a new hope.
Under the circumstance, the BNP leader said, they have decided to work out their future action plans observing the reactions of the western countries and some important global bodies to the election.
He also said though BNP is against taking oath by seven Jatiya Oikyafront MPs elected in Sunday’s election, some alliance leaders want them to join the parliament. “We still couldn’t finalise our decision on it.”
A BNP vice-chairman thinks their party should now give main focus on getting party’s arrested leaders and activists released and ensuring bail for those who are on the run facing many cases to keep the spirit of the grassroots.
Though Tuesday was the founding anniversary of BNP’s vital wing Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD), there was no programme to celebrate it unlike previous years, manifesting the disappointment among its leaders and activists.
Even the JCD office, on the 3rd floor of BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, was found locked until noon and no one of its leaders and activists was seen in and around the office.
JCD used to celebrate its founding anniversary every year with different programmes, including placing wreaths at BNP founder Ziaur Rahman’s grave, cutting big cakes and holding discussions.
Contacted, JCD office secretary Abdus Sattar Patwari said there is a ban on holding any rally and meeting by the Election Commission until three days of the election. “That’s why we decided to celebrate our founding anniversary later.”
He said their president and general secretary issued a message greeting the JCD leaders and activists on the occasion.
BNP standing committee member Lt Gen (retd) Mahbubur Rahman said it is usual that millions of BNP leaders and activists across the country have got shell-shocked by the ‘unimaginable and unexpected’ election results, whatever reasons may have behind it.
“We aren’t ready to get such an election results under any circumstance. I alerted the party high-ups six months ago that the 11th parliamentary elections would be farcical one if it was held under a party government, and that’s why I didn’t contest the polls,” he said.
Mahbub said the party should now do some serious soul-searching in the wake of the shocking defeat. “The party should now identify its mistakes and work out effective steps to revitalise its disappointed rank and file.”
He said BNP senior leaders should not remain silent now after such catastrophic election results as it will only demoralise the grassroots further. “BNP should now take some effective and positive programmes to give the party leaders and activists new hopes and keep them busy with some constructive activities so that they can overcome the shock and turn around.”
BNP’s Mohammadpur thana unit president Haji Mohammad Yusuf said party leaders and activists have lost their words and become utterly disappointed over the election results. “They’ve also become worried about their future as most of them are facing numerous cases.”
He said their followers are coming to them to know what they should now do and what will be the future action of the party. “But we’ve no suitable answer except telling them to have patience and observe the situation.”
Bogura district unit BNP joint general secretary Arafatur Rahman Apple said party grassroots got demoralised as the party even could not protect its strongholds like Bogura, Feni and Noakhali. “It’s very tough time for us. Our senior leaders must work out effective strategies and steps to boost the morale of disappointed party activists.”
Under the circumstances, he said, party senior leaders should contact the grassroots leaders and give them necessary directives to tackle the post-election situation.