Begum Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Zia were convicted in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case. Begum Zia has been sentenced to 5 years imprisonment. Even though the Awami League is delighted for this verdict, many leaders believe that this verdict may be a boomerang for Awami League. Many top leaders of the Awami League fear that the whole incident may invite opposite results.
Different political leaders think Begum Khaleda Zia has tackled the verdict of the case and the imprisonment with discretion. Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) President Mujahidul Islam told Bangla Insider, "Begum Zia handles the whole situation with political wisdom. This will increase her popularity." On condition of anonymity, a member of the Advisory Committee of Awami League said, "Due to the imprisonment of Begum Zia the common people have been sympathetic to her. This can be a big plus point for BNP."
The Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal (BaSad) leader Khalequzzaman said ``The master plan with which the Awami League is moving ahead can defeat the Awami League ultimately." He said, "Bangladeshi political culture is as such that the popularity of the leaders increases after their imprisonment." The leader of the BaSad thinks, "If Begum Zia becomes ineligible for the election in the end, then BNP will be in a better position.”
An Awami League leader said," If Begum Zia can finally go for the election, then a released Begum Zia will be the big plus point for the BNP." The Awami League leader thinks BNP will probably go to the polls even under Sheikh Hasina. Khaleda`s jail can be a big emotion and issue in this election.
Senior leader Pankaj Bhattacharya said, "The politics of the leaders cannot be ended by taking them to jail. It is proven in the political history of Bangladesh. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman became `Bangabandhu` and the Father of the Nation through accepting his longtime imprisonment." He thinks," Khaleda`s imprisonment would rather benefit BNP."
A senior Awami League presidium member feels that "The verdict of Begum Zia must be finalized by the higher court before the election. If Begum Zia is not disqualified from the upcoming parliamentary elections, then this verdict may be a major headache for the ruling party Awami League." Though Awami League’s general secretary Obaidul Quader said, "There is no relation of this verdict with politics." He said, “We also want BNP to participate in the election under the leadership of Begum Zia.”
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