Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury, who retired from BNP politics as its vice-chairman in 2015, has made a comeback to active politics by joining Bikalpadhara. Bikalpadhara led by former Bangladesh president AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury has also roped in two more new members: former state ministers Golam Sarwar Milon and Nazimuddin Al-Azad.
A gallantry award-winning freedom fighter, Shamsher Mobin was an army lieutenant in 1971. He was deputed to the foreign ministry after the Liberation War.
He served as foreign secretary between 2001 and 2005 during the BNP-Jamaat alliance government.
In 2008, he joined the BNP after being the Bangladesh ambassador to the United States for two years.
He was made a vice chairman after the BNPs national convention in 2009. He was arrested in early 2015 during the BNP-led alliances violent blockade and later released on bail.
Milon was the first elected president of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, the student wing of BNP. He joined the Jatiya party later and was elected an MP from the Singair constituency. He served as a state minister during the Ershad government.
After remaining out of the political scene, Milon, the former BGMEA director and a member of FBCCI became active again in politics with Ferdous Ahmed Qureshis PDP during the 2007-8 emergency rule. But later he went off the radar again.
Azad from Jashore served as state minister for religious affairs during the BNP-Jamaat alliance government. He had joined hands with Nazmul Huda after leaving the BNP.
Shamsher Mobin was active in the BNP but later left the party after he was named in a few cases. He said he was quitting politics at that time.
“I said three years ago that Ill return to politics if someone comes forward with the spirit of the Liberation War and the ideology of Bangabandhu,” he said during a Bikalpadhara event on Friday.
“I have joined Bikalpadhara to play my role in creating a happy, peaceful and prosperous Bangladesh under the leadership of Badruddoza Chowdhury.”
“Forces against the Liberation War have hatched a conspiracy against the alliance formed to save the country from bad governance. We welcome those who believe in the nationalist politics of Ziaur Rahman to join Bikalpadhara,” said Mahi B Chowdhury, joint secretary general of Bikalpadhara.
Former NAP chairman Zebel Rahman Gani, NDP Chairman KHandaker Golam Murtaza and Labour Party Secretary General Hamdullah Al Mehdi also expressed their solidarity with Bikalpadhara.
Shamsher Mobin joined Bikalpadhara three days after the Gono Forum chief Dr Kamal Hossain-Jatiya Oikya Front alliance, of which BNP is a part, staged its first rally.
The event where Shamsher Mobin and others joined the Bikilpadhara was organised by Bikalpa Jubo Dhara, the youth front of the party, in Dhakas Middle Badda.
Badruddoza lashed out at Oikya Front leaders for “not speaking about BNP founder Ziaur Rahmans role in building the nation”.
He also urged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to sit for talks with the political parties before the general elections.
“The Awami League says it has offered 100 seats to its allies. It is trying to strike a balance of power. But we asked them to keep 175 and leave out 125 seats for the allies. Bikalpadhara never asked for half of the seats,” he said.
Badruddoza, the founding secretary general of the BNP, became president of the country after the BNP-Jamaat-e-Islami alliance came to power in 2001.
He formed the Bikalpadhara after being forced to leave the presidents office during BNP chief Khaleda Zias rule.
He moved to float a new coalition led by Dr Kamal as the 11th parliamentary election loomed on the horizon. But he attached some conditions - one of them for the BNP to shun its ally Jamaat.
The BNP did not come up with any statement to clarify its position, nor did it sever ties with the war crimes-tainted party.
Meanwhile, Dr Kamal went ahead with his plan for the new alliance, leaving out Badruddoza and his party colleagues in a political rift. The Bikalpadhara then expelled some leaders who had formed a rebel committee.