Apparently, in an attempt to isolate Awami League (AL) in the next elections, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) wants to get close to Ershad`s Jatiyo Party. The prospect of Rangpur City Corporation election has already created opportunities for the two parties to form an ally. Although a potential treaty between BNP and JP would be historic, senior leaders of BNP are still obscure about the role of Jatiyo Party and most importantly Ershad.
A member of the Standing Committee of BNP thinks that `Ershad is very unpredictable.` Whether a pact between the two parties forms or not, BNP wants Ershad`s Jatiyo Party to win in Rangpur City Corporation which will certainly create disappointment among the Awami leaders.
Rangpur City Corporation election will be held on December 21. Current Mayor Sharfuddin Ahmed Jhantu was declared as Awami League candidate. The central leadership of AL took a stern position to meet the internal conflict within the party. Winning the City Corporation election will be the starting point of Awami League’s ‘election mission.’
On the other hand, Rangpur is known as the strongest base of Ershad’s Jatiyo Party. Mustafizar Rahman Mostafa will compete in the upcoming RCC election on behalf of JP. But Ershad`s decision has been challenged by his nephew Maqbool Shahriar Asif who has already submitted his nomination papers. Its assumed that the discord between the uncle and nephew is not dissolving until the election is over.
Though many speculated that BNP won’t be participating in the election. Surprisingly in the final moments, Kawsar Hassan Babla is declared as the candidate. Whether BNP wins or not, it wants a defeat for the ruling party Awami League.
Many BNP associates think if Jatiyo Party would have abandoned 2014 National Election, Awami League would have no option left to form a government. JP has close ties with both BNP and Awami League. Co-chairman GM Kader is speculated to conduct continuous discussions with BNP leaders. Many prominent BNP leaders think if the party forms an alliance with Ershad, BNP’s chances of winning the next general elections would be higher.
Several non-elected members of JP are in favor of forming an alliance with BNP. Some think that it depends on Ershad`s permission. GM Kader is forwarding talks with BNP leaders. But BNP can`t trust Ershad.
Ershad was the one who initially refused to participate in the national elections of 2014, but later he not only participated in the elections but became also a special envoy of Prime Minister.
Whether Ershad stays with Awami League or associates with BNP is yet to be seen. Of course, in the end, Ershad will strike when the iron is hot. Until then he seems to be remaining `unpredictable.`