MNA Editorial Desk: Jatiya Oikya Front chief Kamal Hossain has admitted that the fielding of Jamaat-e-Islami leaders in the 11th parliamentary election by the opposition alliance was a mistake.
“In my view, it was a mistake,” he said at a media briefing in Dhaka on Saturday, two weeks after the election.
Kamal also said he would mount pressure on the BNP, a key ally of the Oikya Front, over the issue.
Claiming that he did not know about the participation of 25 Jamaat candidates in the election, Kamal said, “I’ve already publicly said that no Jamaat men were in the Oikya Front and no-one told me anything about their participation.”
Kamal, also the president of Gono Forum, faced questions over his party’s future stance on the Jamaat-e-Islami. “We made it clear that we had no political involvement with Jamaat. We never thought of doing so,” he said.
“This is crystal clear.” Kamal expressed his regrets twice over the Jamaat’s participation in the polls.
In an interview with the Indian Express on Dec 27, Kamal said, “I am sorry to say that fielding ex-Jamaat people is stupid.”
“I had given it in writing that there will be no support to Jamaat, no bringing in religion, fundamentalism, extremism etc,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.
“Had I known (that Jamaat leaders will be given BNP tickets), I would not have been part of it, but I will not stay a single day if these people have any role in the future government.”
Ahead of the Dec 30 polls, BNP, Gono Forum, Krishak Sramik Janata, Nagorik Oikya, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (Rab) and Jatiya Oikya Prokriya together had launched the anti-government alliance led by Kamal.
The BNP-led alliance secured eight seats in the election out of 299 seats. As a political partner of the BNP-led alliance, 25 leaders of Jamaat took part in the election with BNP’s electoral symbol ‘sheaf of paddy’, but could not win.