Khaleda Zia plans a job for her son


Dhaka : The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has amended its constitution to pave the way for the return of Tarique Rahman, elder son of party chief and former prime minister Khaleda Zia. He has been away in London for the past one year.

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The party has incorporated a new post of senior joint secretary general, which was earlier held by Tarique Rahman for over four years without there being such a provision.

Held on graft charges for several months, Rahman had reportedly announced “retirement” from politics before being allowed to proceed to Britain for medical treatment in September last year.

Criticised as being an “unconstitutional authority” when his mother was the prime minister, Rahman remained out of the political scene, reportedly convalescing in a London hospital, during the December election that his party lost.

“BNP insiders are seeing the move as a manoeuvre for creating an opportunity for Tarique (Rahman) to be a councillor in the party’s upcoming national council expected to be held on Dec 8 this year, after 16 long years,” The Daily Star newspaper said Tuesday.

It did not say if and when Rahman’s return was being planned.

Zia’s term as the chairperson has been enhanced from two years to three and the “absolute power of the chairperson” was not curtailed in the amended constitution.

A move to maker Zia chairperson for life, mooted by some partymen, had backfired last year. Following criticism, Zia declined the post.

“As the chief executive of the party, the chairperson will control, monitor, and coordinate all activities of the party and will control, oversee, and coordinate activities of all committees of the party,” says the amended constitution.

Zia, who was prime minister for two terms (1991-95 and 2001-06), has been heading the BNP since the party’s founder and her husband, then president Ziaur Rahman, was gunned down in a military putsch in May 1981.

Zia, now 64, is currently leader of the opposition in parliament.