An audio tape of a long telephone conversation purportedly between BNP leader Sadeque Hossain Khoka and Nagarik Oikyo convenor Mahmudur Rahman Manna is up on YouTube, where the latter can be heard asking for corpses.
Manna is a former Awami League leader who later broke away to form the Nagarik Oikya and the tape apparently reveals the true motive behind Manna's push for a dialogue to find a solution to the current political impasse.
His stated ambition is to make the Nagarik Oikyo the 'third most important party' in Bangladesh. In the audio tape, Manna briefs Khoka, now living in the US for eight months, about his plans to take out a march from National Press Club on Feb 23.
Following that, he advices Khoka to 'tell your people' to go in for a massive showdown at the Dhaka University.
"If possible take over a few halls in a huge head-on confrontation. Maybe a few will die on both sides but if a few halls can be taken over, it will shake up the government," Manna is heard advising Khoka. But the BNP leader is found to be somewhat reluctant, fearing huge subsequent police action. Throughout the conversation, Manna is asking Khoka to 'tell your people' to join Nagarik Oikya programmes. "It will strengthen the democratic movement at the end of the day," Manna is heard telling Khoka.
He also reassures the BNP leader of the edge anti-government and pro-movement elements have in the TV talk shows.
"We are dominating the talk shows. We have put the government on the defensive," Manna is heard telling Khoka.
"We have successfully established that the root of the current crisis is Jan 5 polls." Manna also sounds optimistic about the initiatives by US, EU and UN - "only if the Indians can be made to change their line," he is heard lamenting.
But he assures Khoka that will also happen. Manna's suggested plan of action indicates that pro-dialogue elements will actually play the role of the 'second front' of the BNP-Jamaat-e-Islami movement. And at one point, he is heard referring to "Dr Kamal" (possibly Kamal Hossain) as part of the plan.
"But I am under huge surveillance. The Prime Minister is upset with me, so I have been asked by people to be really careful," Manna is heard saying.
When asked about his telephone chat with Khoka, Manna did not deny it but said, "I sometimes speak to Khoka bhai (Sadeque Hossain Khoka)." ?bdnews24.com