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BNP to retain key cards

52The opposition BNP and its allies are busy formulating their strategy on participation in the city corporation polls, marking an apparent setback to their violent movement. But a question has been raised in public mind as to whether they are going to withdraw their movement at all.

Experts think the opposition party is unlikely to come out of their movement immediately. The goal of their movement has nothing to do with city corporation elections.

The BNP and its allies have been waging movement to press home their demand for a midterm election under a non-party administration. But the Awami League government is unlikely to give in to the pressure of the opposition. As a result, the anti-government movement is destined to continue.

Some political think-tanks believe that the government maneuvered the city corporation election in Dhaka and Chittagong to take BNP and its allies out of their movement. It is a matter of debate whether the government’s plan will be successful or not.

In the last 83 days of movement as of Sunday, the BNP achieved nothing other than loss of scores of lives and properties. As the common people are falling prey to the arson and firebomb attacks by allegedly pro-opposition supporters, such movement is losing its momentum. After a certain point of time, the flame of movement is likely to be automatically doused.

It is apparent that the leaders of BNP-led alliance are divided over its participation in the upcoming city corporation elections. Many potential candidates within the opposition do not want to miss the chance. So, the party is under a sort of pressure from the poll aspirants and their supporters. A large number of pro-BNP voters like their candidates to take part in electoral race.

The key question is whether participation of the BNP in the upcoming city corporation election will ensure its withdrawal of movement.

Experts think the opposition may not stop its movement which aimed at compelling the government to arrange a midterm parliamentary election under a non-partisan administration. They think the BNP and its allies are carrying on movement for attaining quite a different goal.

Professor Naim Sultan of Government and Politics department of Jahangirnagar University is skeptical about BNP’s withdrawal of movement due to city polls. He, however, claimed the movement is not supported by the common people.

“BNP has taken the city polls as a means for its breathing space. They may suspend movement for the time being. I am dam sure that they will not abandon their movement which aims at pressurising the government to arrange a midterm election under a neutral administration,” he added.

Professor Dr Gyasuddin Molla of Political Science of Dhaka University said “It is very alarming that BNP called a fresh 48-hour hartal again from Monday. If the party would like to contest the city corporation polls, they should withdraw the movement. Amid vandalism and firebomb attacks, the election cannot be held. The candidates cannot run their campaign, nor can the voters cast their votes freely in such a political turmoil.”