Unlike their imprudent political decisions in the past, senior BNP leaders plan to deal with the post-city polls situation with more maturity by working out strategic political programmes which will not unnecessarily heat up the country’s political landscape. The party leaders think the country’s people got aggrieved again with the government for the ‘massive irregularities, vote rigging, muscle flexing by the ruling party men and the Election Commission and the law enforcement agencies’ biased role in Tuesday’s polls.
Making a retreat from their earlier stance to wage a fresh movement in case any unfair polls this time, the BNP leaders said they want to give people a breathing space and use their pent-up anger against the government and thus make the best use of their sympathy for BNP in carrying out well-designed anti-government peaceful programmes.
“We don’t want to make people annoyed with any hurriedly enforced harsher programmes. We’re closely observing the situation. Our party policymakers will work out timely, well-thought-out, nonviolent and peaceful programmes considering the latest political situation,” said BNP standing committee member Lt Gen (retd) Mahbubur Rahman.
He said though their candidates got defeated in the ‘grossly flawed and questionable’ elections their party gained many things from the polls. “These elections once again have justified our demand for a non-party administration to oversee the nation election.”
Mahbub, a former army chief, said people have seen everything what happened during Tuesday’s polls by visiting polling stations, watching TV news and reading newspapers and browsing social media. “What the government did in the polls it further tarnished its image at home and abroad and boosted BNP’s popularity.
He, however, said this election also exposed the weakness of BNP’s organisational capacity. “I think our party will now mainly focus on recasting the party and its associate bodies. Young blood, dedicated, honest and sincere leaders and activists should be inducted in different committees to strengthen the organisational capacity and make the party vibrant.”
Another BNP standing committee leader requesting anonymity said they will not repeat the same mistakes they made after the January-5 election. He said as their party’s image has got dented due to widespread violence during their movement after January 5 this year, they are this time very careful about devising action programmes.
“We neither will remain silent nor will declare any imprudent programmes. Now our first task is to motive our frustrated leaders and activists before going for launching a strong movement,” he added. Echoing his party’s two senior leaders, BNP joint secretary general M Shahjahan also said their party will not come out with any tougher and unwise hasty programme to protest the city polls ‘manipulation’.
He also thinks hartal and other harsher programmes will not be effective at this time as most party leaders and activists are now disappointed and exhausted by the government’s repressive acts. “The ruling party only got three mayors in the polls resorting to terrorism and manipulation. But we gained many things. The most important thing we’ve gained is public sympathy and support,” he added.
Shahjahan said, “There was a perception of people and even our some leaders and activists that it was BNP’s wrong decision of boycotting the January-5 polls. Tuesday’s city polls proved that boycotting January-5 polls was a very right decision.” He said their party will also make a plan to overcome the mistakes and organizational weakness demonstrated in the city polls.