Since the conviction of BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia, there were speculations whether or not BNP will participate in the election. And even the party does participate, who will be leading the party? Begum Khaleda Zia’s participation depends upon the court which will decide if she as a leader is qualified to lead her party in the 11th election. On the other hand, her son BNP’s acting chairman Tarique Zia has already been disqualified being a convict and a political asylee living in London.
Begum Zia on Monday was granted a four-month interim bail from High Court but her release was delayed because the certified copy did not reach the central jail in time. Meanwhile ACC (Anti-CorruptionCommission) and prosecution appealed against the bail verdict at Supreme Court. The Supreme Court today stayed Khaleda Zia’s Bail order until Sunday. The BNP chairperson was also denied bail on Comilla’s arson case which makes her release from jail even more impossible.
But there were rumors of BNP’s going into a settlement with the government. The supposed ‘settlement’ might not only enable Khaleda Zia to get a bail, but also to go to abroad for treatment. But there is an ‘if’. According to the sources, the settlement included a clause which stated that ‘neither Khaleda nor any member of Zia family will be able to participate in the election’. According to the relevant sources, Begum Zia did not however agree to that specific clause.
Is it because of her supposed disagreement that her release has been halted for some reason or the other? Earlier there were reports that Tarique Rahman’s wife Zubaida Rahman might return to Bangladesh to lead the party. Possibilities are that even though Begum Khaleda Zia agreed not to participate in the election, she wants the removal of the condition which would very likely make it impossible for other potential members like Zubaida and Khaleda’s own brothers and sisters to participate in the election.
According to the sources, Tarique Rahman too was not complacent with the idea of a ‘settlement’ with the government. It is, however, not confirmed if Tarique Rahman had influenced the release of Khaleda Zia. Earlier, it was reported that he wanted his mother to remain behind the bars which, Tarique thought, would ignite a powerful movement against the government before the election.
Only time could tell if Begum Zia be able to set foot outside the prison on Sunday or she would remain as the prisoner of Old Central jail for uncountable days.