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BNP appears divided over the issue of forthcoming polls to city corporations and municipalities with some led by Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain calling for a boycott and others favouring participation in the vote.

Delwar on Thursday announced that the BNP-led four-party alliance would resist the local elections since holding those before the parliamentary election is 'unconstitutional'.

Besides, he said, the Election Commission (EC) and the government are out to implement an 'evil plot' when most of the political parties want the parliamentary election to precede other polls.

A group of pro-Khaleda leaders, on the other hand, believe that the elections slated for August 4 would be an opportunity for BNP to reorganise itself. They think the party that has long been in disarray would further fall behind if it opts out of the polls and Awami League (AL) takes part in those.

Some of them allege that the secretary general made the announcement of plans to resist the polls without discussing the matter at party forum. He has been taking all decisions in consultation with partners in the four-party alliance, they add.

Both the groups however hope that detained Chairperson Khaleda Zia would give necessary instructions on the matter while appearing before a court Tuesday.

Meanwhile, leaders close to Delwar plan to convince the chairperson to file a writ petition against the Election Commission's announcement of polls schedules.

Addressing a meeting on Friday, Delwar said, “We have taken some decisions in consultation with the alliance partners and we need unity to implement those.”

He however did not elaborate on the decisions.

When contacted, other leaders of BNP however claimed they did not know anything about this.

Party insiders said the announcement of resistance came bypassing the prevalent view among the party rank and file that BNP should participate in the elections.

They however said if the former prime minister too opposes the local elections then a writ petition might be filed against the EC announcement.

“As far as I can tell, madam [Khaleda] wants the party to participate in city corporation and municipality elections and she might clear her stance Tuesday,” a former BNP lawmaker yesterday told The Daily Star, seeking anonymity.

A leader close to Delwar hinted that the decision regarding the polls might be changed if AL decides in favour of going to the local body polls.

AL leaders in their initial reaction have termed the election schedules farcical and demanded immediate withdrawal of those.

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