Ahead of the 11th parliamentary elections, three new parties joined the BNP-led alliance on Thursday night, turning it into a 23-party one.
Leaders of Bangladesh Jatiya Dal, People's Party of Bangladesh, and Bangladesh Minority Janata Party joined the 20-party alliance by presenting bouquets to its top leaders at BNP chairperson's Gulshan office, reports UNB.
Welcoming the three new partners, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said Syed-Ehsanul Huda-led Jatiya Dal, late leader Mashiur Rahman Jadu Miah's daughter Lita Rahman-led People's Party of Bangladesh and Supriti Kumar Mandol-led Bangladesh Minority Janata Party have formally been co-opted in the 20-party alliance.
20-party's key alliance partner Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) President Oli Ahmed welcomed the alliance partners saying that they have made the 20-party alliance stronger at the bad time of the country by joining it. "We hope we'll be able to resolve the problems of the country and its people with our united efforts."
Earlier, the 20-party leaders held an emergency meeting to work out their next course of action with Oli in the chair.
Briefing the outcome of the meeting, the LDP president said they mainly discussed the issue of sending BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia back to jail from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University without the medical board's nod. "We think she was sent to jail illegally and unilaterally. We condemn it."
"We also think taking her (Khaleda) back to the solitary and abandoned jail without completing her treatment is a plot to kill her," Oli added.
He demanded the government immediately ensure Khaleda's treatment and release her. "Otherwise, the path for holding a fair election will be obstructed, and people's hopes and aspirations will not be reflected on it."
Oli joined the 20-party meeting for the first time since Khaleda was sent to jail after her conviction in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case on February 8 last.