Political calm prevails while politics remains disquiet

Faruque Ahmed

Politics is no more a common property of the ordinary people. They don’t seem to understand what is happening around them or going to happen next. They only see a cloud of uncertainty and feel uneasy about their future.

There exist a political calm but the environment is disquieting. The government remained unresponsive to the demand of the manor opposition alliance to hold a fresh and inclusive polls allowing the people to elect a government of their choice after the highly flawed January 5, 2014 election. But one senses a quiet preparation for a new mid-term election, sidetracking the major opposition BNP by way of prosecuting the senior BNP leaders including its chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia. Indeed, it is a disquieting situation.

BNP may be tactfully eliminated
Sensing the possible move for mid-term polls, the BNP chief made a fresh offer last week for the election time government. She said caretaker government is not the last word; a neutral acceptable election time government is the main issue for the opposition for the next election.
She is seemingly trying to create a room to negotiate and manoeuvre if and when the government comes up with a new election move. Nobody can predict the timing, but one can only hope it may be soon. The government is unlikely to wait for full five year term when its popular support is widely believed to be plunging.
Informed sources say two things are on move discreetly. The government is going to set up special speedy tribunals to quickly try the senior BNP leaders under framed up charges for their alleged role in arson and street violence early this year during its nationwide blockade and hartals.
Likewise, the government’s hand-picked docile Election Commission has undertaken the task of renewing the voters’ list and enlistment of young voters with support from ruling party men. It seems the government is working to create a new political dispensation in the country under which new opposition groups would be developed from within the Awami League gharana for easy manipulation.
In the new system BNP, Jamaat and other parties sitting on centre-right will have no place in this set up. To do this, informed sources claim, the ruling party’s strategy is to destroy BNP by splitting it. The Jamaat is not part of this scheme because it is already on the run.

BNP on strategy for survival
For now the Jamaat has lost ground for open politics, though it has not been banned ostensibly on war crime charges. Jamaat has backtracked and if BNP can be forced out of the political arena, the ruling party may be able to confine politics within its camp followers without any challenge from the Jamaat and BNP politics.
It is noted that BNP is aware of this move and it has been discussed at different levels in BNP that Begum Zia may also be forced into the jail as the Information Minister Hasanul Haque Inu has publicly hinted recently. They are known to be seriously working on a new strategy to see how they can face such a challenge from an uncompromising, ruthless ruling part which will not stop at anything short of BNP’s total capitulation.

Source: Weekly Holiday

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