BNP brings back 12 ‘reformist’ leaders

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PNS Desk: The formal reintegration of the 12 “reformist” leaders came following a meeting with BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir at party Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s Gulshan office this afternoon, sources said.

They are former minister Alamgir Kabir, former whip Abu Yousuf Md Khalilur Rahman, leaders Abu Hena, GM Siraj, Sarder Sakhawat Hossain Bakul, Najir Hossain, Ziaul Haque, Ataur Rahman Angur, Elen Bhutto, Shafiqul Islam Talukdar, Shahidul Islam Talukdar and Zahiruddin Swapan.

More “reformists” will be reinstated in the party, the sources added.

“We are in the party, we were before, and we will also stay in future. We have got directives from our party’s acting chairman to be more active in the party than ever before. We will work in line with party directives,” Sarder Sakhawat Hossain Bakul, one of the 12 “reformist” BNP leaders, told reporters.

Responding to a query over their long-time inaction, Shahidul Islam Talukdar told reporters that, “There might be many problems in a house. Some leaders were inactive as they did not get party nomination for election. However, we will work for the party with unity.”

He also said it is their main goal to survive the party, not to get party nomination and be elected Members of Parliament (MPs).

Months after the political changeover of January 11, 2007, popularly called 1/11, a good number of BNP leaders sided with the then BNP secretary general Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan centring on a 15-point proposal to reform the party.

The leaders became known as “reformists”.

Later, a new BNP central committee was formed under the leadership of M Saifur Rahman and Maj (retd) Hafizuddin Ahmed, but it excluded the party chief Khaleda Zia, who was kept under arrest by the then caretaker administration.

Some district-level leaders expressed solidarity with the committee of Saifur and Hafizuddin. However, most of the reformists became inactive in politics after the 2008 national elections when BNP became the opposition.

PNS/Tamanna Khan