The last general election — virtually without any opposition party taking part in it — and corruption have given rise to the demand for an Aam Admi Party-like entity in Bangladesh.
So far, a group of protestors which led the Shahbag movement for secularism and democracy early last year, cyber warriors who supported the Shahbag movement and a retired army officer have made separate moves to create common man’s parties, reports the Hindustantimes.
The immediate trigger could have been Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s decision to have Gen Hussain Muhammad Ershad’s wife Roushan as the opposition leader although the general’s Jatiya Party is part of Hasina’s 14-party alliance, corruption and fundamentalism seem to be the main issues troubling the three groups.
The Shabag group, is led by Imran H Sarkar, a former spokesman of the Awami League media cell. But politics in Dhaka can never be without squabbles. The former administrator of Cyber Yuddha Page, the main backer of the Shahbag movement, Shubha Kamal, refused to accept Sarkar as his leader. “What we need is an honest leader such as Arvind Kejriwal. Imran hasn’t yet achieved that kind of status.”
While Shubho is searching for a spotless leader to head the common man’s party, Mozommel Hossain, a retired army officer, has decided to form his own outfit. His reason for not supporting the Shahbag protestors: “They should have been more discreet. They should not have followed established political leaders.”
Hossain, who is now involved in the construction sector, will launch his party, Sadharan Manusher Dal — common man’s party — sometime by the end of March.
Meanwhile, observers here are almost sure that the moves are closely watched – if not monitored – by Bangladesh’s biggest donor, the US. Political commentator Jewel Rana said, “Behind the formation of any kind of common man’s party, there will always be US support.”
US has already threatened to prune its assistance to Bangladesh after calling polls – boycotted by 18-party opposition alliance led by Khaleda Zia’s Bangladesh National Party — “unfair”.