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Greater national unity move falters
Juktafront led by AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury and Jatiya Oikya Prakriya led by Kamal Hossain on Tuesday deferred the formation of a liaison committee as their move for a greater national unity faltered with differences surfacing.
The deferral came after Kamal Hossain, also the Gono Forum president, skipped the scheduled meeting at Badruddoza Chowdhury’s Baridhara house on Tuesday that was supposed to form the liaison committee for accelerating the process of forging the national unity.
At a briefing after the meeting, Juktafront chairman Badruddoza, however, said that the meeting made the decision following request from the Bangladesh Nationalist Party to from the liaison committee after its public meeting in Dhaka on September 29.
The request was conveyed by BNP vice-chairman Iqbal Hasan Mahmud Tuku, who was present at the meeting as an observer, saying that at the public meeting BNP would place its policy on how to engage with the national unity process, Badruddoza said.
Some recent incidents exposed the differences between the two top leaders over egoism, personal interest, liking and disliking for the parties of the two alliance—Jatiya Oikya Prakriya and Juktafront.
In the latest incident, Kamal skipped scheduled meeting at Badruddoza’s Baridhara house on Tuesday.
Earlier on Monday, Jatiya Oikya Prakriya and Juktafront leaders at meeting at Kamal Hossain’s Motijheel chamber Monday evening decided to hold the meeting at Kamal’s Bailey Road house at 4:00pm on Tuesday.
Badruddoza and Mahmudur Rahman Manna of Nagarik Oikya, a party of Juktafront, however, were not present at Monday’s meeting.
Tuesday’s meeting was rescheduled for 6:00pm at Badruddoza’s Baridhara house following a dispute over the venue raised by Juktafront, said a Nagarik Oikya leader.
At Monday’s meeting, leaders of Juktafront, including Bikalpadhara Bangladesh, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (Rob) and Nagarik Oikya, questioned Kamal’s interview with BBC Bangla service, in which Kamal said that in principle he had no objection to take part in the next general election under the present government, a Juktafront leader said.
Kamal told the meeting that his interview was distorted as he did not say in that way, the leader added.
A cold war continued between Kamal and Badruddoza over the leadership, although Juktafront and Jatiya Oikya Prakriya decided to advance the process under the joint leadership of the two top leaders, said a leader of the process.
Juktafront chairman Badruddoza did not attend the press conference organised at the National Press Club on September 15 for the joint declaration of Jatiya Oikya Prakriya and Juktafront.
The press conference was informed that Badruddoza, also the Bikalpadhara president, suddenly fell sick on his way to the programme.
Even Bikalpadhara secretary general and joint secretary general were not present at the press conference.
Badruddoza also claimed that Kamal could not attend Tuesday’s meeting because of illness.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the leaders present had to put their mobile phones outside the meeting room switching them off as asked by Badruddoza, meeting sources said.
BNP leader Iqbal Hasan Mahmud Tuku claimed that he had no mobile with him, but he also had to drop the mobile at the designated place when it was found with him, the sources said.
At the briefing, Badruddoza reiterated that the national unity would be forged without those still did not believe in the map of Bangladesh. He claimed that Juktafront and Jatiya Oikya Prakriya agreed on this point.
Those who are in favour of democratic force, do not want autocratic government and want people’s government can get united, he said.
At another briefing, Bikalpadhara joint secretary general Mahi B Chowdhury said that BNP would get no room in the greater national unity until it declared to cut relations with ‘anti-liberation’ party or individuals.
JSD president ASM Abdur Rob, general secretary Abdul Malek Ratan, Nagarik Oikya convenor Mahmudur Rahman Manna, Zahed Ur Rahman, Gonoshathaya Kendra founder Zafrullah Chowdhury, and AFM Shafiqullah and ABM Mostafa Amin of Jatiya Okiya Prakriya, among others, attended the meeting.
On August 28, the top leaders, including Badruddoza Chowdhury and Kamal Hossain, at a meeting at Kamal’s house decided Kamal Badruddoza would jointly lead the process for the greater national unity in the present critical juncture of the nation.
After the meeting, Badruddoza read out the decision of the meeting before media in presence of Kamal Hossain.
The August 28 meeting failed to form a subcommittee with representatives of each party of Juktafront and Jatiya Oikya Prakriya following Kamal’s objection when Nagarik Oikya nominated its representative, meeting sources said.
‘Finally the national unity process is going on like one step forward two steps back,’ said a senior Juktafront leader.