BNP’s crisis on Jamaat issue remains unending. Basically, Jatiya Oikya Front was instrumental for BNP in covering Jamaat. BNP, with the image of Dr. Kamal Hossain, wanted to emerge as a secular force in the country and abroad. However, the Jamaat issue only intensified with the formation of Jatiya Oikya Front.
When BNP aspired to form an alliance with the United Front and the national unity, the main condition of the two coalitions was to leave Jamaat. The United Front made it clear to BNP that it has to cut off any kind of direct and indirect affiliation with Jamaat. Dr. Kamal Hossain was vocal about his issue in the beginning. However, BNP somehow prompted Dr. Kamal to keep Jamaat in the alliance. On the other hand, Bikalpa Dhara could not be managed as it stuck with its condition that involves boycotting Jamaat. Facing constant pressure from BNP, Dr. Kamal eventually formed Jatiya Oikya Front excluding Prof AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury. However, due to Jamaat presence, BNP nor Jatiya Oikya Front is getting sympathy from the national and international community.
Yesterday, the Jamaat issue received the most prominence significance in Jatiya Front’s view-exchange meeting with the diplomats at the city’s Lakeshore Hotel. A number of diplomats raised questions on Jamaat issue. They also wanted to know Jatiya Oikya Front’s stance on this issue. Dr. Kamal Hossain, however, reasoned that Jamaat is no longer a registered political party. But the representatives of the European Union did not accept this. They said they had information that at least three to seven Jamaat candidates will participate in the elections with BNP’s ‘Sheaf of Paddy’ symbol. They also believed if Oikya Front goes to the polls, its symbol will be ‘Sheaf of Paddy’. Would not BNP-Jamaat-Oikya Front be united then? The Oikya Front leaders could not answer this question. Therefore, they are not interested in the demands of Jatiya Oikya Front.
The US Embassy played an important role in the formation of Jatiya Oikya Front. But, because of Jamaat, the United States is no longer interested in this alliance.
Not just the foreign diplomats but also the country’s civil society was also interested in the Jatiya Oikya Front. It also hoped that BNP would leave Jamaat. However, a member of the civil society said, ‘BNP and Jamaat are two inseparable entities. There’s no way to separate them.’ Another civil society member said, ‘BNP will not get the sympathy of anyone as long as Jamaat is with it.’
The Jatiya Oikya Front leaders wanted to include the lefts and build an all-party unity. However, because of Jamaat, it was not possible. BNP is losing its ground because of its partnership of Jamaat. The story of this relationship is like an immortal love story, said the political analysts.