Putting Tarique Rahman’s photo on media cards — for journalists covering BNP’s Rajshahi rally on Saturday — seemed to have backfired.
This outright rejection by journalists points to a larger roadblock that speaks of a leadership crisis in BNP.
Meanwhile, low turnout despite the much hyped pledges of pulling unprecedented crowds and incident of infighting triggered a fresh spell of criticism towards the opposition party.
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Drone footage, as reported by media outlets, captured from BNP’s latest rally in Rajshahi, has served a blow to its well-publicized claim of unprecedented turnout.
Netizens on social media, including on Facebook, referred to drone footage and top shots of the Rajshahi rally venue — exposing large empty spaces on the ground, even when BNP leader Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir was addressing the crowd.
Several television channels used drone footage that showed half of the rear part of the venue wore a deserted look even when top party leaders appeared on the stage.
Meanwhile, footage also emerged of activists wielding sticks — loyal to different leaders — locking in a clash, only to be later dissolved at the intervention of senior leaders.
Some TV channels also carried reports with interviews of survivors, in the Rajshahi region, who endured brutal torture at the hands of the dreaded late militant “Bangla Bhai”, who rose reportedly under BNP’s patronage during its last term.
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After the footage showed less that satisfactory turnout at BNP’s latest public rally, many netizens pointed out lack of leadership, promoting some leaders in exchange of money, record of plundering billions from public welfare fund and grisly arson attacks on general people are to be blamed for the party’s current state of affairs.
The writer is a Professor at the Department of Public Administration, University of Rajshahi.