Sultan Mahmud Tuku’s views on BNP’s stance on religion and its ties with the Jamaat-e-Islami are his own opinion, not of the party, Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi has said.
Tuku, a member of the BNP’s policymaking body Standing Committee, spoke about the party’s ongoing protests for an election-time caretaker government in an interview with Indian newspaper The Hindu on Nov 9.
Tuku argued that the BNP is a secular political party that opposed the use of “political Islam”, and indicated the Sheikh Hasina government was going soft on Islamists.
“BNP is a liberal democratic party. At one point, we had an alliance with the Jamaat just the way political coalitions take place in democracies like India. That is now in the past. The question is for PM Hasina to answer. She should explain why she didn’t ban the Jamaat,” he said.
In a statement on Saturday, Rizvi clarified that Tuku’s comments and views are unrelated to the party whose base is nationalism”.
Rizvi has been issuing statements and video messages on behalf of the party after the arrest of top leaders amid violence during the BNP’s protests less than two months before the general election.
Tuku could not be reached for comment on Rizvi’s reaction to his comments in the interview.
Other leaders could not confirm the location of Tuku, who was absent in the BNP’s Oct 28 rally. The Hindu reported he was in India during the interview.