Nagorik Oikya to be third party in Bangladesh politics, eyes 2014 polls
Both Awami League and BNP have failed to fulfil people’s aspirations, and it is time to form a “third political party” with honest, patriotic and visionary people, Nagorik Oikya, a recently formed citizens’ organisation, said yesterday.
Its leaders said they will travel across the country before Eid-ul-Fitr to find honest and capable candidates in all 300 constituencies for the next polls and drum up public support for the third political party.
আগামী জাতীয় সংসদ নির্বাচনে ৩০০ আসনেই প্রার্থী দেওয়ার কথা ভাবছে সদ্য আত্মপ্রকাশ করা সংগঠন ‘নাগরিক ঐক্য’।
সংগঠনের আহ্বায়ক ও আওয়ামী লীগের সাবেক সাংগঠনিক সম্পাদক মাহমুদুর রহমান মান্না গতকাল শনিবার এক আলোচনা সভায় এ কথা বলেন। তাঁর মতে, আওয়ামী লীগ ও বিএনপির বাইরে জনগণের বিকল্প মঞ্চ হিসেবে তৃতীয় শক্তির উত্থান জরুরি।
“If we can have in the next parliament at least 50 to 60 honest and patriotic representatives under a third party platform, we will be able to put pressure on the two major parties to work for people’s welfare,” M Hafizuddin Khan, adviser to a caretaker government, said at a discussion at the Jatiya Press Club in the capital.
“The next general election is still one-and-a-half years away, and people are eagerly waiting for an alternative political party to save them from the two parties’ misrule.”
The former adviser said people cast votes either for BNP or AL because they don’t have any other alternative.
Criticising both BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and AL President Sheikh Hasina, he said, “Though both the leaders talk about democracy, they do not practise it within their parties.”
Asif Nazrul, professor at Dhaka University, said, “People are fed up with their corrupt and wrong leadership.”
Two Nagorik Oikya advisers — jurist Rafique-ul-Huq and journalist ABM Musa — and its members Shahdeen Malik and Prof Pias Karim could not attend the meeting for personal reasons, said its member Tuhin Malik.
The speakers said the prime minister’s remark that the Padma bridge would be constructed from own resources was “unrealistic.”
They said the government should engage distinguished personalities, including Prof Rehman Sobhan, Prof Muhammad Yunus and Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, to negotiate with the World Bank to reach an amicable settlement over the Padma bridge issue.
They also demanded ex-communications minister Abul Hossain’s removal from the cabinet for his alleged involvement in Padma bridge project corruption.
Nagorik Oikya Convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna said, “If she [the prime minister] had any patriotism and feelings for people, she would not have made 16 crore people suffer to save the minister [Abul Hossain].”
He said Nagorik Oikya leaders will go door to door to get people’s opinions and advice on the third party’s formation.
“We will urge people to back our initiative to form a third political party if they want to get rid of the two major parties’ misrule and corruption,” said Manna, a former AL leader.
Abu Sayeed Khan, another Nagorik Oikya leader, said people have been waiting for a change in politics since the restoration of democracy in 1991, but it has not happened yet.
Former AL lawmaker SM Akram, another leader of the forum, said, “Awami League in its election manifesto pledged to bring about a positive change in the country but in reality, it is doing the opposite.”
“We all should do something to save people from the two parties that have ruled the country by turns since 1991.”
“If BNP comes to power, we will not be able to live in this country. The same thing will happen if Awami League returns to power in the next polls. That is why we need to create an alternative platform for people,” said Akram, also former president of Narayanganj district AL.