Parties in the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led alliance are in ‘worry’ as BNP appears to be ‘indifferent’ to any discussion over the sharing of parliamentary seats for the 11th national elections likely to be held in December.
BNP is ‘tactfully avoiding’ discussing the issue with its allies worrying them, alliance leaders said.
They said that BNP was also upsetting them by giving importance to other parties outside the alliance for a greater anti-government movement and subsequently convincing those parties assuring of compromising parliamentary seats for those parties.
Bangladesh Kalyan Party chairman Syed Muhammad Ibrahim told New Age on July 18 that seat sharing having been kept ‘undecided’ left the parties in the alliance in a ‘political worry’.
Ibrahim, also retired major general, said that under the circumstances, BNP might ‘tactfully’ and ‘courageously’ review the situation.
BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan, also the alliance coordinator, said that the party was yet to discuss about the next general elections.
He said that they were now busy with the release of the jailed BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia and mayoral elections in Rajshahi, Sylhet and Barisal cities scheduled for July 30.
BNP is doing everything but avoiding discussion on seat sharing with the allies, said top leaders of smaller parties in the alliance.
They said that BNP already assured Krishak Sramik Janata League of Abdul Kader Siddique (Bir Uttam), Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal faction of ASM Abdur Rob and Nagorik Oikya of Mahmudur Rahman Manna of sharing parliamentary seats.
BNP showed sincerity in negotiation by expelling its Basail upazila unit convenor Enamul Karim Atal for not withdrawing his candidature in Basail municipal polls in favour of Krishak Sramik Janata League’s mayoral candidate, they added.
Enamul told New Age on July 3 that he was expelled as he did not withdraw his candidature in favour of the Krishak Sramik Janata League candidate.
BNP has also assured that it would leave Basail-Sakhipur parliamentary constituency for Kader Siddique in the next general elections, said a senior BNP leader.
Bangladesh Muslim League president Kamruzzaman Khan said that the issue of seat sharing among parties in the alliance should be discussed immediately.
Pending the decision on whether BNP and the alliance would contest or boycott the elections, seat sharing should be settled soon, the alliance leaders said.
They said that it would be difficult to settle the issue if the alliance at the eleventh hour decided to take part in the elections.
Khelafat Majlish secretary general Ahmed Abdul Kader said that parties in the alliance wanted discussion over seat sharing.
It is difficult to work in field without any goal, he said.
Bangladesh National Awami Party secretary general Golam Mostafa Bhuiyan said that his party thought that BNP should immediately discuss the issue.
Jatiya Ganatantrik Party also thought that seat sharing should be discussed with the allies.
JAGPA general secretary Khandaker Lutfar Rahman said the matter was not discussed, but BNP wanted to wait more as BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia was in jail.
The issue of seat sharing is important for the partners particularly those are registered with the Election Commission for protecting their registration.
BNP and its allies boycotted the 10th parliament election on January 5, 2014, boycotted by all opposition parties.
According to the Representation of the People Order, the registration of a political party may be cancelled if the party does not participate in the parliamentary elections for two consecutive terms.
Nine of the 20 parties of the alliance, including Kalyan Party, Khelafat Majlish, Bangladesh National Awami Party, Bangladesh Muslim League and JAGPA, are registered with the commission.
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