Vol. 5 Num 968 Mon. February 19, 2007  
Front Page

Yunus may name his party Nagarik Shakti

The political party to be floated by Prof Muhammad Yunus is likely to be styled "Nagarik Shakti" or "Citizen's Power."

The Nobel laureate disclosed this yesterday to the reporters at the Zia International Airport on his return from Chittagong.

"I will formally launch the party later this month and it might be named Nagarik Shakti," Yunus said adding "The way things are going on, there is no scope to stay out of politics.....we have to move forward."

Yunus said that 20-member village-level and ward-level party committees will be formed to muster support for his nascent party. These committees would be known as 'Yunus Samarthak Goshthi' or 'Yunus Supporters' Groups.'

In a significant departure from conventional political practice, the Nobel peace prize-winner has proposed that his party activists would work as 'volunteers' and bear all costs of electing nominees for their constituencies.

"If locals want to see good people elected, they will have to spend their own money," he added.

Asked to comment on Awami League President Sheikh Hasina's remarks on micro-credit, Yunus said "I do not want to get into a politics of war of words. We have had enough of divisive politics. I want to be in politics with everyone."

"There is no way I can continue to stay away from politics. I am determined...and it does not matter who says what about me," the Nobel laureate said in his reply to the reporters' questions on supposedly veiled allegations made against him in the past few days.

On February 22, Yunus is set to send a second open letter to follow up on last week's open letter to all Bangladeshis urging them to give their opinion on whether he should join politics and launch a party. His aides have refused to provide any statistics of the responses till date, but have termed the feedback as "positive".