Claiming that a faction of Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam left their coalition under ‘pressure’ from the government, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Sunday said mutual trust among the 20-party alliance partners is “excellent”.
“They (Jamiat faction) have failed to survive in politics as an opposition party. So, they’ve left the alliance. They should have said the truth that they had not able to withstand the extreme pressure and lawsuits instead of blaming any party and individual,” he said.
Speaking at a press conference at BNP chairpersons’ Gulshan office, the BNP leader said their party is doing politics with the 20-party as per their manifesto maintaining mutual respect. “There’s an excellent mutual trust among us.”
On July 14, a faction of Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam Bangladesh announced to quit the BNP-led 20-arty alliance for allegedly being ignored in the coalition’s decision-making process.
In a written statement, party acting secretary general Moulana Bahauddin Jakaria said they took the decision as Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam’s leaders and activists at the grassroots level have got angry at BNP for many reasons, including non-evaluation of alliance partners, unilaterally boycotting three recent by-polls without taking opinions of the alliance partners, BNP secretary general’s statement about not believing in Sharia law, not protesting the jailing of Alem-Ulema and repression on them across the country, not expressing sympathy to the party leaders at the death of its secretary general Nur Hossain Kasemi and not taking part in his namaz-e-janaza by the BNP leaders.
Fakhrul said Jamiat talked about Sharia law, and it is true that there is nothing written about it in BNP’s constitution. “But we don’t oppose any Sharia law and we won’t pass any law against it. We’re in power and we didn’t pass any law against it. So, it can’t be said that we oppose Sharia law and Islamic values.”
He said Jamiat raised the issue only to attack him personally.
Fakhrul said BNP did not have any problem with Jamiat. “As per the manifesto of the 20-party, the alliance was formed to wage a movement against the fascist regime and join the election under the platform. But the alliance partners can freely do the politics of their own parties as per their belief and values.”
Fakhrul said the allegations Jamiat brought against BNP are not true.
He said their party issued condolence messages over the death of Jamiat secretary general Nur Hossain Kasemi.
The BNP leader said their party issued a statement against the arrest of Alem-Ulema centring the protest against the Indian Prime Minister’s visit to Bangladesh on March 26.
“We also arranged a press conference over the issue and we repeatedly raised the issue on different occasions. So, how did they say we did nothing in this regard? It’s not true. People hope that the Alem-Ulema will speak the truth.”
Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam’s two factions--one led by late Moulana Mufti Waqqas the other by late Nur Hossain Kasemi--have long been there in the 20-party alliance. The Waqqas-led faction is still there in the 20-party alliance, though another left it.
In 1999, the BNP-led four-party alliance was formed to intensify the movement against the then Awami League-led government. The alliance won the 2001 election with a massive vote margin.
The four-party alliance was expanded to a 20-party one in 2012, but many of its partners, including Islami Oikya Jote, Bangladesh Jatiya Party (BJP), NAP and NDP left the party at different times.