It is, as though, the tail wags the dog when Mahmudur Rahman Manna, a leader of one of the minor political parties of the mainstream BNP’s alliance, speaks on behalf of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.
Question crops up who has given him the authority to speak for Khaleda Zia. How a prisoned convict can talk with a group of political leaders?
The recent statements of the BNP bigwigs, including its Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, and some leaders of the BNP allies sound confusing.
Fakhrul says that he is not sure about what BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has told the leaders of the allies.
Sources in the BNP said that the party may take part in the election on some conditions and as per the demand of the party’s grassroots levels.
But since the minor allies do not have any chance to win any seat in the next general election, the leaders of the allies do not want the BNP takes part in the election.
Consequently, the BNP’s allies want to influence and mislead the BNP and intensify BNP’s strife with the government. Fakhrul said, “I am not sure of what the BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has instructed the allies leaders while they (allies leaders) visited ailing Khaleda Zia in the hospital”, said Fakhrul Islam while replying to a question during a press conference held on Friday at the BNP’s central office in the capital’s Nayapaltan.
He said, “I am not sure about whether Khaleda Zia gave any instruction to any of the allies’ leaders regarding the ongoing movement.”
It amply proves that the unity between the main party BNP and the allies has become too fragile and there is a rift and distrust working.
He further said, “The Chairperson now does not give any instructions as regards politics in the country. On the contrary, we receive instructions from the exiled acting Chairperson of BNP Tarique Rahman as to what is to be done in the context of the present political situation obtaining in the country.”
Besides, the BNP has a standing committee, which also takes decision about the party activities.
Earlier on September 13, leaders of ‘Ganatantra Manch’, an allied platform of BNP comprising some minor political parties, visited Khaleda Zia at a hospital in the capital where she is undergoing treatment.
Emerging out of the hospital, some alliance leaders, including Mahmudur Rahman Manna and Zunayed Saqi spoke to the media and claimed that Khaleda Zia gave instructions to them to continue the anti-government movement.
“Khaleda Has told us not to get trapped by taking part in the upcoming 12th Parliamentary Election. She also told us to intensify the movement against the government”, he said and continued that “We also assured her that we won’t be in the trap of the government.”
It is also learnt said that BNP leaders are engaged in using the ‘ailing condition’ of the party’s Chairperson Khaleda Zia for political gain. They are trying to show Khaleda critically ill although she may not be that much serious ill.
The BNP leaders are also spreading false information about Khaleda Zia’s physical condition.
Senior BNP leader Mirza Abbas on Thursday claimed that Khaleda Zia has been poisoned while she had been in the central jail.
People in general are doubtful of the seriousness of the ailment of Khaleda Zia because if she is critical in the hospital how come she can give instruction to any leader.
Khaleda Zia is enjoying residential privileges in spite of being a convict because of the generous attitude of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her government.
It is simply unethical on her part to encourage anti-government and anti-state activities having received the magnanimity of the government.
It should be mentioned that the government is going to extend the suspension of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's jail sentence by six months more.
Law Minister Anisul Huq told the media on September that he has extended the suspension of her jail sentence after the family of Khaleda Zia had applied to the Home Ministry.
This is the eighth time the government has allowed the BNP chief to enjoy the facility on health grounds since 2020.
According to her conditions, Khaleda would not be able to go abroad and she has to take treatment at her residence.
The government released the BNP chief after suspending her jail sentence as per Section 401(1) of the Criminal Code of Procedure (CrPC).
Khaleda was freed from jail on March 25, 2020, after the government suspended her jail sentence for six months. She walked out of jail at a time when the world was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The former Prime Minister was sent to Old Dhaka Central Jail after she was sentenced to five years' imprisonment by a special court in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case on February 8, 2018. She was convicted in a second corruption case later.
But she has been staying at her Gulshan residence since then. A special team of her personal physicians has been overseeing her treatment.