Bangladesh: Khaleda Zia’s daughter-in-law likely to lead BNP politics soon

Zubaida will be inducted into the party amid rumors that Khaleda Zia might be convicted at any time in any one of several cases filed against her, according to party sources. Tarique’s own direct involvement in politics has been complicated by his conviction in one of the 14 graft cases filed against him.

The wife of Bangladesh National Party senior vice-chairman Tarique Rahman is likely to enter politics soon to assist her mother-in-law, party Chairperson Khaleda Zia — in the upcoming general election campaign, it has emerged.

A number of senior leaders of the party in capital Dhaka believe that Dr Zubaida Rahman, who lives in London with her husband and daughter, is capable of revamping and rejuvenating the crisis-riddled party through mass communication before the next polls set to be held in early 2019, report Dhaka Tribune.

BNP insiders –the largest opposition party in Bangladesh, said Khaleda would discuss the issue with Zubaida and Tarique during her ongoing visit to London.

During their meetings in London, Khaleda, Tarique and Zubaida will also prepare a roadmap and determine the party’s course of action for the polls, they added.

Preferring to be anonymous, a top-level BNP leader told the paper that the BNP chief recently discussed Zubaida’s induction into politics with the standing committee members, and they supported her in this move.

Zubaida will be inducted into the party amid rumors that Khaleda Zia might be convicted at any time in any one of several cases filed against her, according to party sources. Tarique’s own direct involvement in politics has been complicated by his conviction in one of the 14 graft cases filed against him.

Tarique was arrested during the political changeover in 2007 and went to the UK for treatment on September 11, 2008. Since then, he has been living there with his wife and daughter, while his mother Khaleda has been in politics alone without any of her family members.

Zubaida reputation

Several political observers PKonweb talked with said Zubaida’s induction would be a good move. BNP needs new leadership, new faces, and course-correction targeting the youth bulge — one of the biggest in South Asia, they said.

BNP leaders said Zubaida is from an active political family and so it would be “quite natural for her to come into politics”.

The daughter of former navy chief MA Khan, Dr Zubaida “will be able to bring a qualitative change to the country’s politics with her aptitude and reputation,” they believed.

The party’s grassroots workers, too, prefer her to play an active role in the party in absence of her husband, report local media outlet.

BNP standing committee member Lt Gen (retd) Mahbubur Rahman said: “There is no obstacle to her joining politics. The country has been undergoing a political crisis. So, we need her in politics at this moment.”

In August last year, Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina praised Zubaida, saying “she will do well as a politician.”

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