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Will there be 2 separate manifestos or one under BNP?

  • Published at 07:13 am December 1st, 2018
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Jatiya Oikya Front leaders at a meeting held at Dr Kamal Hossain's chamber in Motijheel, Dhaka on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 Dhaka Tribune

Meanwhile, BNP has already created a separate manifesto along with a committee

BNP along with Jatiya Oikya Front and 20-party alliance have been unable to decide under which banner their manifesto for the upcoming 11th parliamentary should be released. 

Meanwhile, BNP has already created a separate manifesto along with a committee. 

The matter has raised questions among the Jatiya Oikya Front manifesto committee members. Many Oikya Front leaders fear that its affects can spread towards the meeting on December 6.

Even though Oikya Front manifesto committee members say the manifesto will be finalized in the next three to four days, they are reluctant to talk about this matter.

Two top-level leaders of Oikya Front steering committee said only Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury, Mahfuz Ullah and Dr Zahid ur Rahman attended the designated meeting of the manifesto committee held on November 27.

It was discussed in the meeting that BNP has already made a manifesto committee a while back, of which Professor Mahbub Ullah is a part. The meeting concluded that the matter of manifesto will be decided in another meeting and they will inquire BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir about it.

Oikya Front manifesto committee’s unofficial head Dr Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury said: "We heard BNP has a separate manifesto committee. 

“They have sent a proposal to Oikya Front, results of which have been positive. The manifesto will pass through the steering committee. If anyone wants to do something separately, then I cannot say anything."

Manifesto committee member Mahfuz Ullah said: “Hopefully, we will finalize the manifesto within three to four days and the BNP secretary general will let us know if the manifesto will be under the main banner.”

Later, even though Mirza Fakhrul was called, he could not talk as he was busy.

On the other hand, BNP is yet to decide under which banner the manifesto will be released. The party has now been divided into: Jatiya Oikya Front, which will contest the election under the symbol of paddy sheaf, and the 20-party alliance.

BNP is the primary party of both the alliances. Therefore, questions arose whether the manifesto will be launched under one banner, or two separate banners- one under Jatiya Oikya Front and the other under 20-party alliance.

Commenting on the matter, 20-party alliance's associate Khelafat Majlish's Secretary General Ahmed Abdul Kader said: “We have made a draft from our party and if asked, will submit it. However, we cannot say which one will be finalized.”

Kalyan party- an associate group of the 20-party alliance- Secretary General MM Aminur Rahman: “Despite initial divisions and submitting nomination forms under their own symbols, all the alliance parties have agreed to go to polls under the paddy sheaf symbol of BNP."

He said the manifesto must be under one banner, and a BNP cell has been working for it.

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul, standing committee member Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, Prof Mahbub Ullah among many others, are involved in the BNP electoral manifesto cell.

Responding to a query about the matter, Economist Mahbub Ullah said he has no knowledge about this issue. 

Manifestos from both alliances

However, sources say that Jatiya Oikya Front and 20-party will declare two separate electoral manifestos. As the primary party, BNP will create manifesto under Jatiya Oikya Front banner as well as under 20-party alliance's. 

BNP's proposal will be maintained in both the manifestos. The electoral manifesto will be called "Poribortoner Sonod" loosely translated to "Charter of change."

When is the election?

On November 12, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda announced a fresh schedule for the parliamentary election.

The commission said the polls will now be held on December 30 instead of December 23.

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