Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh

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Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh
Leader Dr. A. Q. M. Badruddoza Chowdhury
Founded March 2004
Headquarters Bishwa Road, Dhaka
Ideology Secularism,
Social liberalism
International affiliation None
Politics of Bangladesh
Political parties
Elections

Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh is a political party in Bangladesh founded by former President of Bangladesh and BNP parliamentarian Dr. A. Q. M. Badruddoza Chowdhury in 2004.[1] Incidentally, Dr Chowdhury is also a founding member of BNP, the party he was ousted from.[2] Their party symbol during the polls is the kula (Bengali: কুলা, a handmade winnowing fan).[1] Its current political alignment is ambiguous, and has no seats in the parliament.[3]

Background[edit]

The party was conceived by Dr Chowdhury in 2003 after he was forced to abdicate his Presidency.[2] Dr Chowdhury felt the need of a third force in the de facto two-party democracy in Bangladesh. He expressed recruiting civil society members in politics to fight corruption and terrorism and establish good governance in the country through an alternate stream (lit. Bikalpa Dhara) political party.[1] He, along with his son Mahi B. Chowdhury and BNP parliamentarian M A Mannan resigned from BNP to work for the new political party. Dr Chowdhury was the President, with M A Mannan as the secretary-general of the new party formed in March 2004. It had been a strong critic of the government during the time, and most of its members were defects from the ruling BNP.[1] BNP parliamentarian Oli Ahmed too had defected from BNP bringing with him 24 other senior leaders of BNP to form a new party Liberal Democratic Party in which Bikalpa Dhara was merged on 26 October 2006. However, due to some ideological differences LDP was split and Dr. Chowdhury along with his followers went back to form Bikalpa Dhara again in 2007.[4]

By-elections in 2004[edit]

Article 70 of the Constitution states that a parliamentarian who defects automatically loses his seat.[5] Since both M A Mannan and Mahi B Chowdhury were ruling party parliamentarians during their defection to Bikalpa Dhara, their seats were vacated and by-elections declared. Both the parliamentarians contested for their own seats again.

The Munshiganj-1 district was contested mainly by Momin Ali of BNP and Mahi Chowdhury,[6] (main opposition Awami League boycotted the by-polls) and the BNP-led government was determined to ensure that they retained the seat. The by-election was held on June 6, 2004.[6] Despite considerable opposition from the BNP, Mahi Chowdhury managed to win the elections and enter Parliament as the only opposition member from the BDB.

The Dhaka-10 constituency was contested between former MP M A Mannan and BNP's Mosaddek Ali Falu[7] (main opposition Awami League had boycotted the by-polls). Falu, also political adviser to the Prime Minister, won the elections comprehensively, but the polls were considered to be sham by most observers,[7][8] and according to WikiLeaks, including the United States.[9]

Mahi's membership in the Jatiyo Sangshad expired along with the parliament in October 2006.

2008 elections and aftermath[edit]

The party contested the 2008 elections independently, but won no seats during the elections. Party president Dr Chowdhury lost his security money for obtaining only about 5,000 votes in his Dhaka-6 constituency, and came third in his Munshiganj-1 constituency,[3][10] where he was elected parliamentarian four times in the past. Nobody else from the party were able to secure seats in the 9th Parliament either.[3]

In the emergency presidium meeting on 31 December 2008 just two days after the elections, Dr Chowdhury and M A Mannan, party president and secretary-general took responsibility for the loss, and resigned from their party posts, being appointed chief adviser and adviser to the party respectively.[3][10] They also congratulated Awami League for their historic win in the elections.[3][10] Dhaka University's political science professor Nurul Amin Bepari and Mahi B. Chowdhury were appointed acting president and acting secretary-general, respectively.[3][10]

However, Dr Chowdhury and Mannan were reinstated to their respective roles within the party in April 2009 after a presidium meeting.[11]

2009 - present[edit]

Bikalpa Dhara has been walking on two boats with the main alliances. Dr Chowdhury attended political iftars with both Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (which Khaleda Zia boycotted)[12] and Khaleda Zia (which Sheikh Hasina boycotted).[13]

Stances[edit]

Present government[edit]

Bikalpa Dhara believes that the present Awami League-led Grand Alliance has failed in fulfilling their duties as the government, and a scheme of having fresh elections at the earliest must be hatched.[14]

Caretaker government[edit]

Bikalpa Dhara opposed the repealing of the Thirteenth Amendment that abolished the caretaker government system in Bangladesh, and stated their liking of the system to the Chief Election Commissioner during a formal dialog.[15] The party also has agreed to join former foe BNP in a movement to reinstate the caretaker government.[16]

General agitations by BNP[edit]

Bikalpa Dhara hasn't associated themselves with the general agitation movements being led by BNP. For instance, Bikalpa Dhara were invited by BNP to join their mass hunger strike on 12 July. While LDP, another party split from BNP, joined the movement, Bikalpa Dhara declined.[16] The party also stated that it would shun any movements by BNP that they perceived were too hardline and would disrupt the normal passage of life for the people, although they agreed with BNP's cause in general.[14] They were initially undecided about attending BNP's rally on 27 September,[14] and later no reports of Bikalpa Dhara's attendance were found.[17] However, Bikalpa Dhara joined BNP's road march program starting on October 10.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "RRT RESEARCH RESPONSE". Refugee Review Tribunal, AUSTRALIA. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Chowdhury, Manosh. "Politics of Secularism In Bangladesh: On the Success of Reducing Political Vocabularies Into Evil 'Islamism". Jahangirnagar University. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Badruddoza resigns Bikalpadhara presidency". bdnews24.com. 31 December 2008. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  4. ^ "BNP on 'mission win back'". bdnews24.com. 13 July 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  5. ^ "Bangladesh Constitution". 4 November 1972. pp. Article 70. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "Weary voters ready for third time". The Daily Star. 5 June 2004. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Hussain, Ahmede (July 16, 2004). "One Flew over Falu's Nest". Star Weekend Magazine. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  8. ^ "AL walks out as talks on by-polls denied". Bangladesh Web. 5 July 2004. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  9. ^ "Thomas termed Khaleda lazy, Tarique notorious". The Daily Sun. 9 September 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  10. ^ a b c d "Badruddoza, Mannan resign from party posts". The Daily Star. 1 January 2009. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  11. ^ "Badruddoza Chowdhry becomes BDB chief again". The Daily Star. 9 April 2009. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  12. ^ "Oppn abstains from Hasina's Iftar". bdnews24.com. 6 August 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  13. ^ "Khaleda takes Iftar with politicians". bdnews24.com. 13 August 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  14. ^ a b c "B'dhara to shun BNP's 'tough' programmes". bdnews24.com. 18 September 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  15. ^ "Bikalpa Dhara favours CG system while JP opposes". The Daily Star. 16 June 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  16. ^ a b "Bikalpadhara to join caretaker movement". bdnews24.com. 29 August 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  17. ^ "AL tyranny can't tame protest: Jamaat". bdnews24.com. 28 September 2011. Retrieved 10 October 2011. 
  18. ^ "Khaleda to lead caravan towards Sylhet today". The Bangladesh Today. 10 October 2011. Retrieved 10 October 2011.