[Dhaka Correspondent] A large number of former lawmakers of BNP who frequented expelled secretary general Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan’s residence in recent times, Thursday met the party secretary general, Khandaker Delwar Hossain, and extended their support to his leadership. Prominent leaders meeting Delwar included Manirul Huq Chowdhury, Abdul Momin Talukder, Kazi Rafiqul Islam, Nurul Kabir Shahin, Moazzem Hossain Alal and Shahjahan Chowdhury and 12 former women lawmakers.
Welcoming them, Delwar said, “I believe you never lost your trust in the leadership of Khaleda Zia and now you are reiterating it which will help the party overcome the present situation.” He said there might be some differences over procedural issues but the party rank and file were united, “I seek your suggestions so that I can rightly run the party and free the detained party chairperson and other leaders. We are passing through bad times due to SoE but time will come when the emergency will have to be withdrawn.”
He renewed his call for lifting the ban on political activities and reopening of party central office, “We are in politics for the people and they are passing days in miseries. Farmers have not been rehabilitated after floods and they are not getting fertilizer.” He alleged and expressed his fear that the fertilizer crisis would badly affect overall agricultural production.
Delwar said price hike of essential commodities were causing great sufferings to the people and urged the government to take effective steps to control prices.
Party vice-chairman MK Anwar and joint-secretary general Nazrul Islam Khan were present on the occasion.
Asked if there was any formal move from the party to take back the expelled leaders, Delwar said, “Our constitution clearly describes how to join the party. It is not a matter of invitation. I will abide by the constitution and do whatever is needed to ensure the party’s unity.”
He, however, said that permission of the chairperson would be required in some cases. “I have no authority to nullify the chairperson’s action,” he said mentioning that Khaleda Zia had expelled the leaders when she was compelled to do so to keep the party united.
Delwar said he was trying to meet the party chairperson in jail but the government was not allowing him to visit her, “They are allowing every Tom, Dick and Harry but I am unable to meet her although it is important to take decisions.”
Asked whether the party would take action against any leader convicted of corruption or any other charges, Delwar said, “The party will take action against anyone convicted if the trial is done without outside interference and in a transparent way.”
Delwar said he had arranged a temporary place to run the day-to-day affairs, “Naya Paltan office is our central office and it should be opened immediately.”