”The Rift between Khaleda-Tarique Revealed”
E-Bangladesh Desk Report: Section 7 (C )(2) of the constitution of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) clearly states that in the presence of chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia, Tarique Rahman will have to give up the position of acting chairperson. However, despite Khaleda Zia being released from prison on 25th March, 2020, Tarique Rahman is still acting as the chairperson of the party, which is essentially illegal. As everyone still addresses and considers Khaleda Zia to be the chief of BNP. Even in the press release on 22nd August, 2020, in response to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s comments on Begum Zia, the incumbent secretary general of BNP, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir addressed Khaleda Zia as the chairperson.
One of the conditions of Khaleda Zia’s parole is that she cannot partake in active politics. She also cannot travel abroad unless the court permits her. Thus, she is not actively involved with the activities of BNP. Having said that, she has been conducting meetings with the senior members of the party. So the question arises as to why Tarek Rahman is still the acting chairman.
Other than the people who are close to Tarique Rahman, most of the party members are in opposition to this situation but no one is brave enough to address the issue outright. Having said that, the senior figures of BNP have been so agitated by some of the actions by Tarique Zia since the last general election that they almost called for a vote of no confidence against him.
It is evident from his actions that Tarique Rahman does not want Begum Zia to return to politics. In fact, he had allegedly demanded to know why some of the senior members went to meet with Khaleda Zia, without informing him, at her Gulshan residence after her release. It is rumoured that he wants to appoint someone loyal to him as the Secretary General of BNP. Moreover, he wants the senior figures of the party to resign and plans to include more young people to the committee. All these actions point towards the ambition to remain in power of the organisation.
Tarek Rahman is a convicted criminal who is currently residing in London. He left the country after 1/11 by making an agreement with the army-backed government that he would not participate in politics for several years.
After Khaleda Zia went to jail, everyone had unanimously accepted Tareq Rahman as the acting chairman. However, everyone has been unhappy with his leadership. controversial actions and decisions since. Now no one wants to see him in this position. Everyone wants Begum Zia to be active in politics again. Most senior leaders think that it is not possible for them to do politics under the leadership of Tareq Rahman.
After taking up the responsibility of the Acting Chairman, Tareq Rahman did not give priority to the opinions of the senior leaders. Instead, he disregarded the suggestions of the standing committee at various times, which caused displeasure among the party members.
Before the last national election, Tareq Rahman changed the nominations for at least 50 seats that were finalized at BNP’s parliamentary board meeting. There were various debates and protests in front of the central offices of BNP in Gulshan and Naya Paltan. He started reforming the party after the landslide victory of the current ruling party in the previous election. He gave priority to his own people in the formation of district level committees of the party, which appalled a lot of the senior figures of the organisation.
Tareq is busy making a ring. During the governance of BNP, Tareq Rahman’s ring was formed with some of the central members loyal to him based at Hawa Bhaban. He now wants to expand that circle across the country, so that the control of the party is completely in his hands. For this, more importance is being given to the mid-range leaders than the senior figures.
On September 13, 2014, professor of Dhaka University, and economist Mahbub Ullah was attacked. BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia had demanded justice for the incident. Interestingly, Mahbub Ullah’s attack was ordered by Tareq Rahman. Mahbub Ullah had criticized Tareq Rahman at a program, which led to him being attacked by the ring of Hawa Bhaban as punishmen.
Some leaders left the party because of their anger over Tareq’s actions. On October 29, 2015, the then Vice Chairman Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury resigned from the BNP. Although he resigned due to health reasons, Tareq Rahman’s unhinged behavior was the real reason behind it. During a discussion on the party’s foreign policy in London, Tareq Rahman’s adviser Humayul Kabir insulted Shamsher Mobin. Tareq Rahman supported Humayun Kabir’s statements outright. Chowdhury was greatly humiliated and could not accept such treatment after dedicating all his life to the party. So he had resigned.
Ge. (Retd.) Mahbubur Rahman was also harassed in numerous ways for criticizing Tarique Rahman. He also resigned in November of 2019. After the news of his resignation broke, he confirmed that he had resigned two months prior.