Zia now more powerful as son again accommodated in BNP



Dhaka: The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has created the post of a senior vice president for former prime minister Khaleda Zia's London-based son Tarique Rahman, making her even more powerful in the party, media reports said.

Tarique's appointment was "pushed through" at "a closed-door session" by middle-level leaders in the party's national council meeting. It was barely 11 hours after he spoke of his health condition and left the decision to the party delegates in a pre-recorded message, The Daily Star said on Thursday.

A powerful joint general secretary when his mother ruled the country during 2001-06, Tarique is convalescing in London for the last one year from ailments compounded during several months of jail term in 2007-08 on charges of corruption.

Zia, who is the opposition leader in parliament, lost the parliamentary poll last year. Her party has witnessed internal problems, forcing her to convene the national council meeting after 17 years.

Some delegates asked her of the decision to create a post to appoint Tarique.

"You've (councillors) brought the proposal and again it's you who've supported it. So what else can I say?" an emotional Khaleda replied.

According to the new party constitution, a number of new posts have been created. There will be two special assistants for the party chairperson who would designate their status in the party.

The BNP was founded by Zia's husband and then president Ziaur Rahman in 1978 to bolster his position after he took over as chief martial law administrator. He was killed in a military putsch in May 1981, forcing his widow to take over the party leadership.

IANS