The 44th anniversary of BNP, one of the largest political parties in the country, is on Thursday.
On September 1, 1978, through a conference at Ramna Green, then President Ziaur Rahman announced a 19-point program based on Bangladeshi nationalism and formed the BNP. He was killed in an army coup in Chittagong just three years after the formation of the party. After Ziaur Rahman’s death, Khaleda Zia, the current chairperson of the party, took the reins of BNP. BNP came to power three times under his leadership. BNP has ruled the country for a total of 18 years. However, BNP’s path was not smooth from the beginning. After the death of Ziaur Rahman, many senior leaders of the party betrayed and left the party.
Khaleda Zia joined BNP at the call of the party’s leaders and activists during that crisis. BNP conducted a decade-long anti-dictatorship movement under his leadership. After the fall of the Ershad dictatorship, the BNP formed a government with popular support despite not having a strong organizational base in the fifth national parliamentary elections held in 1991. The party also came to power in the short-lived sixth parliament in 1996. Although a large opposition party was elected in the seventh parliament in 1996, Khaleda Zia-led BNP won the majority in the eighth parliament in 2001.
BNP has been out of power for the longest time in 44 years of its establishment. In addition to organizational weakness, the situation of leaders and activists in cases and arrests is not good. The party’s top two Kandari-Chairperson Khaleda Zia and Acting Chairman Tarek Rahman are not directly supported by the leaders and activists. All in all, the party is facing a difficult crisis.
Meanwhile, the party is preparing for a big showdown in the capital on the 44th anniversary of BNP. The high command of the party wants to highlight their position by holding a rally in the capital on the foundation anniversary. BNP wants to remain on the streets at any cost despite the level of attacks and torture on party leaders and activists by the law enforcement forces and Awami League activists during the program across the country. The objective is to keep the grassroots leaders and workers strong on the streets despite all the odds. Therefore, in addition to the big showdowns across the country including the capital on the foundation anniversary, flowers will be paid at the shrine of Ziaur Rahman, the founder of the party, at Sherbangalar in the capital at around 12 noon. Apart from this, posters and brochures have been released and discussion meetings have been organized.
The party will have a big showdown in the capital through a rally at 3 pm. The rally will start from Nayapaltan and end at Malibagh. Meanwhile, in the joint meeting of the party, the leaders and workers of BNP and organizations have been instructed to attend the anniversary rally in the capital.
Regarding the 44th founding anniversary of BNP, the member of the party’s standing committee said. Khandkar Mosharraf Hossain said, ‘Our leader is imprisoned today, the acting chairman Tarek Rahman has been imprisoned by this illegal government with a false case. Freedom of speech, democracy and the sovereignty of the country are under threat today. The country and the people must be protected from this. And for this, national unity is needed. On this founding anniversary today, we must take an oath to bring back democracy and rights.’
BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said, ‘This government is surviving on lies. They are telling lies one after another against the country leader and Zia family. Shahid Zia introduced multi-party democracy in this country. When this Awami League came to power for the first time, it established a monopoly in the country by keeping the democracy imprisoned within four walls, similarly, their privileged leader, the current Prime Minister, is also holding the democracy. Leaders and activists of the opposition party are being disappeared and killed. To get rid of this, we have to take an oath on this foundation anniversary, we will not return home until the fall of this tyrannical Shahi government.
(Dhaka Times/September 1/FA)