Dr Kamal Hossain’s Gano Forum was now planning to mount pressure on Bangladesh Nationalist Party to sever its ties with Jamaat-e-Islami to keep the Jatiya Oikya Front intact and launch a movement together with like-minded parties demanding a fresh national election.
Talking to UNB, some Gano Forum leaders said that they wanted to strengthen the Jatiya Oikya Front in such a way so that no one would malign the alliance for Jamaat and BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman.
They also said that some left and right parties were contacting them to join the newly launched coalition, but they were imposing a condition that BNP must part its ways with Jamaat.
The Gano Forum leaders also said that they thought their two and BNP’s six lawmakers should join the parliament since they won their respective seats fairly ‘unlike many others’.
Under the circumstances, Gano Forum’s central committee was going to sit in a crucial meeting on Saturday to assess the December 30 national elections and decide the future of its alliance with BNP.
The meeting will begin at the party’s Arambagh central office at 10:00am and will work out the party’s next course of action, Gano forum media wing member Latiful Bari Hamim said on Friday.
Party president Dr Kamal Hossain will preside over the meeting and hold a press briefing at 4:00pm.
The party’s central committee member Amin Afsari said that they would take various important decisions at the meeting about the future of their party’s alliance with BNP and some other parties and their future action plans.
He said that they would also discuss whether Oikya Front could be strengthened through involving some other left and democratic parties.
Amin Afsari also said that their party might seek opinions of their central committee members on whether their party’s two elected members of parliament should take oath or not.
The party’s training affairs secretary Rafiqul Islam Pathik said that their meeting would evaluate the just-held national elections and take decisions to strengthen their party’s organisational capability to launch an anti-government movement.
About Oikya Front, he said that some parties, including both the left and right ones, were eager to join the coalition to wage a movement demanding a fresh national election. At Saturday’s meeting, Pathik said that they would take some decisions about how they could expand the alliance and make it stronger.
‘Most of our leaders want to keep the alliance with BNP intact, but it must leave Jamaat for that,’ he said.
A Gano Forum presidium member, wishing anonymity, said that their central committee might decide to sever ties with BNP if it did not leave Jamaat.
‘We may decide that if BNP wants to keep the unity with Gano Forum unharmed, Tarique Rahman can’t interfere in any matter of the Oikya Front and his party must come up with an announcement to drop Jamaat from its alliance,’ he said.
He said that if BNP did not accept the decision, they might try to reshape Oikya Front with other like-minded parties.
The Gano Forum leader said that most of their grassroots leaders wanted their party’s two members of parliament to join the parliament.
‘Our central committee meeting will discuss the issue. I think our parliament members will finally take oath as it’s a great scope for us to have representation in the parliament for the first time,’ he said.
He said that their leaders thought though the election was not acceptable in many constituencies, their two members of parliament and six from BNP had come out successful fairly through competition.
‘Why should our members of parliament not take oath? We believe if eight members of parliament from Oikya Front joined the parliament, they’ll be able to play a positive role in favour of people and our demand for re-election,’ he said.
Zafrullah Chowdhury, Gonoshasthya Kendra founder who played a vital role in forming the Jatiya Oikya Front, said that BNP should leave Jamaat in the interests of its own as well as that of the front. He said that BNP should now first boost its organisational strength to stage a comeback alongside making its ties with Oikya Front alliance partners stronger further.
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