The BNP top brass has held a meeting to decide on their next strategies and delegate responsibilities to different leaders, as party chief Khaleda Zia has been in prison after being convicted in a graft case.
The meeting was held at Khaleda’s Gulshan office on Saturday evening, with the party’s Standing Committee member Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain in the chair.
Over 60 leaders of different tiers were present there.
Emerging from the meeting, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told a press briefing that they convened the meeting to plan their future course of action.
“In the meeting, our party leaders have been advised to stay careful so that no one can harm our unity taking advantage of our chairperson’s absence.”
He added that they had also discussed the filing of a bail petition with the High Court for the release of Khaleda.
Also Read - Graft case verdict sends Khaleda Zia to jail for 5 years
On Thursday, Judge Dr Akhtaruzzaman of Dhaka’s Fifth Special Judge Court sentenced the former prime minister to five years’ imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.
The same court also sentenced five other accused, including Khaleda’s son and BNP’s acting Chairperson Tarique Rahman, to 10 years’ imprisonment each and fined them a total of Tk2.10 crore.
Speaking to the journalists, Fakhrul alleged that Khaleda was denied division facilities in prison though she is supposed to enjoy the facilities according to the jail code, as she was a “three-time” elected prime minister of the country.
Also Read - BNP announces more protest plans over Khaleda conviction
“Our leader Khaleda Zia has been kept at an unhealthy, dirty place. The prison where she is now, is an abandoned one. She is suffering from numerous diseases, but the jail authorities do not let her visit doctors inside,” the top BNP leader alleged.
The authorities said the BNP chief was given division and other facilities as per the jail code.
Expressing thanks to leaders and activists of his party for staging peaceful demonstrations as outlined by Khaleda, Fakhrul said the trial court’s verdict had boosted their morale and strengthened the unity even though it went against the party chief.
Reiterating their demand for a free and fair election, he called on BNP leaders and activists as well as the countrymen to come forward to help ensure a participatory election.
‘Government made political blunder’
Another BNP Standing Committee member, Moudud Ahmed, claimed that their party would benefit more from the trial court’s verdict than the ruling Awami league.
Also Read - BNP accuses government of treating Khaleda as ordinary prisoner
“The government has made a ‘political blunder’ by convicting our leader Khaleda Zia in the case,” he added.
20-party alliance calls meeting for Sunday
Fakhrul, also the coordinator of the BNP-led 20-party alliance, called a meeting of the alliance.
The meeting is scheduled to be held at Khaleda’s Gulshan office on Sunday at 5pm, confirmed BNP’s media wing staff Shamsuddin Didar.