Five front ranking BNP leaders who lost the national election in Rajshahi and grassroots party leaders from their areas at a meeting here have called upon all party men and supporters to reject Jamaat-e-Islami candidates in the upcoming upazila election in the district.
The BNP leaders also pointed out that BNP's alliance with Jamaat weakened its organisational strength which is a major cause for its debacle in the December 29 national election.
People do not like Jamaat for its role against the country's independence, they said at an extended meeting of party workers held at Kharkhari High School ground on the outskirts of the city Saturday evening.
Some BNP leaders' affinity to Jamaat-e Islami and corruption alongside a 'deep-rooted conspiracy by the immediate past caretaker government' are also responsible for BNP's poll debacle, they told the meeting.
Darshanpara union BNP president Abul Kalam Azad chaired the meeting.
Central BNP's Liberation War affair secretary Kabir Hossain, organising secretary Mizanur Rahman Minu, Azizur Rahman, Abdul Gafur and Nazrul Islam addressed the meeting. All the five front ranking BNP leaders in the district ran in the parliamentary election but lost to Awami League-led grand alliance candidates.
Paba upazila BNP's organising secretary Ali Hossain conducted the meeting.
BNP bagged only eight parliamentary seats out of 72 in Rajshahi division in the December 29 poll against 43 in 2001 election.
The BNP leaders' comments against Jamaat involving many BNP leaders created commotion among the audience, but it was cooled down following intervention by senior BNP leaders.
The speakers also alleged that the caretaker government 'conspired' in the poll to see BNP defeated.
Kabir Hossain asked party-men to say 'no' to Jamaat as it was the main obstacle to BNP leaders' candidature in many areas in the last election.
As an ally, Jamaat demanded candidature in many constituencies knowing well their internal weaknesses and lack of public support but they finally got tickets through lobbying, he said.
Mizanur Rahman Minu who was criticised at the meeting for his Jamaat affinity also stressed the need to 'reduce dependency' on Jamaat.
“BNP suffered huge loss in all six Rajshahi seats for one Jamaat candidate in one seat”, he said.