Pro-nationalist intellectual Dr Jafarullah Chowdhury has advised BNP central leaders to engage in demonstrations even if they are ill and are on wheelchairs, to boost public support for its movement to free Khaleda Zia from incarceration.
Dr Jafarullah and five other pro-BNP intellectuals made the recommendation at a special meeting held at the party chairperson’s office in Gulshan on Saturday night.
The meeting was initially attended by four intellectuals, but two more joined in during the last hours. At least ten senior BNP leaders also attended the meeting.
The four guests that initially attended were – former vice chancellor of Dhaka University Dr Emajuddin Ahmed, journalist Mahfuz Ullah, economist Dr Mahbub Ullah and political scientist Dr Dilara Chowdhury.
Later, Dr Jafarullah Chowdhury and poet Abdul Hai Shikdar joined in.
According to party insiders, the meeting was held to discuss BNP’s next steps following the incarceration of its chief Khaleda Zia in a graft case.
Posing a question at the meeting, Dr Jafarullah stated: “What is the stance of the remaining standing committee members? Even if they are physically ill, they should join the movement to free Khaleda on wheel chairs.
“Going around on wheelchairs would earn BNP leaders more sympathy from people.”
He also urged BNP leaders to conduct district level visits across the country.
An intellectual, who attended the meeting, said: “BNP was advised to form teams of 20-30 executive committee members, which will be led by Standing Committee members. The teams will visit every district to garner support.”
The insider stated that the BNP has agreed to consider the recommendations put forward by the intellectuals.
“BNP was praised in the meeting for its peaceful protest movement, and asked to continue the trend,” the intellectual added.
Meanwhile, Dr Jafarullah also urged BNP to visit the High Court, as documents related to the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case has not been made available to the party as yet.
Speaking to the correspondent on this issue, BNP Vice Chairman Advocate Khandaker Mahbub Hossain said: “I will visit the High Court to avail the certified copy of the case verdict. Currently, we have no plans to go to the High Court over the matter.”
Responding to a query, BNP Standing Committee Member Nazrul Islam Khan said: “We invited a few senior intellectuals for discussion. We want to hold a bigger meeting with them in the future.”