Our Correspondent, Rajshahi
‘We used to affectionately call him “Madam’s (Khaleda Zia) son”. He contributed so much to the 90’s movement that Madam herself knew him by name. He was the leader of Chhatra Dal then. After that time he never had to wait to meet her after going to madam’s house for a long time.’ A leader of Rajshahi BNP was saying the words about Matiur Rahman Montu.
He was the General Secretary of Rajshahi District BNP. Mr. Montu also became a member of the national executive committee of the party.
The BNP leader also said that BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia came to Matiur Rahman Montu’s house in Rajshahi several times during the 90s movement and even after that.
‘Now that Montu has left BNP and joined a party called BNM. What else to say? Who knows, this is just the beginning. Who knows how much more will happen in the future,’ said the BNP leader to Bangla Herald in a tone of disappointment.
Motiur Rahman Montu, a one-time popular student leader, recently joined a new party called Bangladesh Nationalist Movement (BNM) and became the vice chairman of the party’s central committee.
Now he is going to contest the election from Rajshahi-3 (Paba-Mohanpur) seat for that party. While the name came as a surprise to BNM’s ‘Rajshahi mission’, the new party’s leaders claim that there may be a couple more candidates soon, which will surprise even more.
When asked, BNM member secretary Major (Retd.) Md. Hanif said, “Major General (Retd.) Sharif Uddin, sibling of former BNP leader and minister Barrister Aminul Haque, is in the process of joining BNM to participate in the elections from Rajshahi-1 constituency. If he joins the party, he may also participate in the elections.
Matiur Rahman Montu admitted the truth of the information that he is going to participate in the election on behalf of BNM and said, “This BNP and that BNP is totally different. This party has moved away from the ideology of Shahid Zia’s BNP, even Khaleda Zia’s BNP. Party decisions are not made in the democratic process anymore. The opinions of field level activists are not evaluated. Hastily and forcefully imposed decisions. Some leaders have put the party in danger by doing wrong politics. It is not possible to do politics like this. That is why we have come forward to do something new with the same ideals.”
According to several sources of BNM, leaders are leaving BNP and participating in the next 12th parliamentary elections from 6 constituencies of Rajshahi. Incumbent and non-incumbent leaders of the BNP have already joined the new party to contest the parliamentary elections. Some have also collected nomination papers from BNM. Several reliable sources have confirmed that others will also collect nomination papers in the next two-three days.
According to BNM sources, BNP leader Taskia Binte Najib has collected nomination papers from BNM to participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections in Rajshahi-1 constituency. Retired Major General Sharif Uddin, brother of former minister late BNP leader Barrister Aminul Haque, is in the process of joining the BNM party to contest the elections from the same party. Few days ago, Sharif Uddin filled the membership form of BNM. However, he has not officially joined the party yet. Multiple sources in the party have confirmed that he will join in a day or two.
BNM’s Godagari upazila president Samshujjoha Babu said, “I used to participate in the election too. But a big leader of BNP is participating in the election by joining our party from this constituency. For this reason, I am leaving him the place.”
Apart from this, businessman Abdul Bari will participate in the election from BNM in Rajshahi-2 (City) constituency, Shahidul Islam will participate in the election from BNM in Rajshahi-4 (Bagmara) constituency, Shafiqul Islam, former general secretary of Upazila BNP in Rajshahi-5 (Puthia-Durgapur) constituency and Raihan Ali and Abdus Samad have collected nomination papers to participate in the election from Rajshahi-6 (Bagha-Charghat) constituency.
Rajshahi district general secretary of the party Shariful Islam said, “our party is participating in the election. Many BNP leaders have already joined to contest the elections from our party. Many more are in the process of joining.”
Meanwhile, intense discussion is going on in the local BNP regarding this change of party of Matiur Rahman Montu. According to multiple sources of BNP, Matiur Rahman Montu is known to be close to BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi. At the same time, they have their own circle with many BNP leaders who have done student politics. Apart from Rajshahi, they did not get nominations from BNP in various districts. That is why the local BNP fears that many more leaders may follow in the footsteps of Matiur Rahman Montu and join BNM.
However, when asked about the matter, Golam Mostafa Mamun, the former organizational secretary of Rajshahi District BNP, who is known to be close to Matiur Rahman Montu, claimed that they had no discussion with Montu before joining. He said, “We only heard that he has joined the new party and going to take part in next election.”
“As he has been dishonest with the party, the people of Rajshahi will not forgive him,” Mr. Mamun added.