BNP, Jamaat grassroots leaders joining AL

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Grassroots level leaders and activists of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its major ally Jamaat-e-Islami have been joining the ruling Awami League for last several months. They have been joining the ruling party to protect themselves from police harassment, arrest, prosecution, and because of financial crisis, frustration caused by the failure of the recent anti-government movement, bleak future of the party and leadership crisis, said leaders of the parties. Many joined the ruling party to make money fast and to carry out business smoothly, the party leaders added. BNP spokesman Asaduzzaman Ripon told New Age on Monday that he did not know that grassroots level leaders and activists were joining the Awami League. He, however, said that some might have joined the ruling party individually to protect themselves from ruling party’s repression, attack, prosecution and arrest or to save their lives. Jamaat central working council member Aminul Islam said that grassroots level leaders and activists joined the Awami League in one of two incidents. Over 10,000 local leaders, activists and supporters of BNP and its and associate organisations and Jamaat in different districts joined the Awami League in the last few months, according to reports of New Age correspondents. New Age correspondent in Jaipurhat reported that about 3,000 BNP and 200 Jamaat leaders and activists in the district, a stronghold of the BNP, joined the Awami League in the past five months. About 1,000 activists of BNP led by Jaipurhat town Sramik Dal convener Golam Mortuza Shiplu and Amdoi union Swechchhasebak Dal president Sazzad Hossain joined the Awami League at the house of Awami League organising secretary Abu Sayeed Al Mahmud Swapan, also a lawmaker, on June 13. On June 7, about 300 BNP activists led by Kusumba union ward BNP publicity secretary Firoz Talukdar and about 200 Jamaat activists led by Panchbibi unit rokan Abdul Salam joined the Awami League at Panchbibi park in presence of the district Awami League president Samsul Alam Dudu, also a lawmaker. Nearly 2,000 activists including Akkelpur upazila unit Jubadal president municipal councillor Mamunur Rashid, another councillor Abul Kalam Azad and Nasima Akhter joined the ruling party at different functions. Golam Mortuza Shiplu said that they joined the Awami League as they were aggrieved by the party programmes and lost confidence in the party following loss of many lives in the past few months because of the party’s ‘politics of arson.’ In Sylhet, nearly 5,000 BNP leaders and activists have joined the Awami League since January 5, 2014 national polls, boycotted by all opposition parties. On June 14, nearly 100 activists of Biswanathpur upazila BNP led by Dashgarh union unit organising secretary Motahar Hossain joined the Awami League at the house of Sylhet district Awami League general secretary Shafiqur Rahman Chowdhury. Motahar said that he joined the ruling party as political activities of the BNP slowed down and to ensure development of the locality. In Bogra, a stronghold of the BNP, over 100 leaders and activists of Swechchhasebok Dal and Chhatra Dal led by Dhunat unit Swechchhasebok Dal organising secretary Rajibuzzaman joined the Awami League on June 7 presenting bouquet to local lawmaker Habibur Rahman. In Sirajganj, BNP-backed Kaliaharipur union parishad chairman Mizanur Rahman, Shialkol union parishad chairman Shahzamal Sheikh, Bohuli union parishad chairman Enamul Huq and Narina union parishad chairman Saiful Alam Tekka and Kayempur union parisahd chairman Ziaul Alam Jhunu, along with their supporters, joined the Awami League recently. New Age correspondent in Pabna reported that over 1,000 BNP and Jamaat activists at Sadullapur, Dublia, Madhupur, Kuchiamora, Malanchi and Dapunia of sadar upazila joined the AL. Local lawmaker Golam Faruk Khandaker Prince received the new comers. Muladuli union AL president Abdul Khaleque said that 50-60 BNP-Jamaat men joined the AL recently. Ishwardi municipal unit Jamaat amir Amzad Mollah said, ‘AL men prepared a list here in Muladuli. They forced BNP-Jamaat men to join AL. If they had not joined the AL or skipped from joining AL rally, they would have been harassed in cases.’ In Comilla, about 1,300 leaders and activists of the BNP and its ally Jatiya Party faction joined Awami League in the past six months. Of them, Daudkandi municipal mayor Abdul Sattar joined the ruling party with 500 activists and Nangalkot upazila unit organising secretary Tohidul Islam and three union parishad chairmen with 500 activists. In Barishal,, Batajore union parishad chairman Moktar Hossain Babul joined the AL in May. In Khagrachari, over 150 BNP leaders and activists of BNP of Dighinala upazila joined the AL on June 18.

Source: New Age