Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), already riddled with feuds and leadership claims, faces a new crisis as two 'dissidents' AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury and Col (Retd) Oli Ahmed are planning to return to the party they abandoned over a decade ago.
BNP insiders said return of Badruddoza Chowdhury, a former President, and Oli Ahmed, a former communications minister in Khaleda Zia's government, may break the party's line of leadership - as they both would likely be given high posts in the BNP, at great displeasure of many who have been waiting on the queue for years.
Many in BNP's rank and file have already started debating the "merits' of their coming home after they had "deserted" BNP and floated their own parties.
They ran back and forth trying to grab a slice of the power cake but failed because strong lobbies in the BNP objected to their re-entry, citing their "fleeting" behaviour and lack of trust.
However, BNP Standing Committee member Lt Gen (Retd) Mahbubur Rahman, said, "The decision on the duo coming back is almost final and their entry is a matter of time."
He said their position in the party - which many BNP insiders said would be quite high - is not a big thing but BNP would benefit from the return of the two experienced politicians.
"The return of the two leaders, who deserted BNP for their own interests, will create fresh controversy and may lead the party to a disaster," said one BNP mid-level leader, requesting anonymity.
Badruddoza Chowdhury is a famous physician and Oli Ahmed is a freedom fighter, something that adds to their political status. They both can "captivate" listeners by talking nice - and that probably Khaleda Zia also likes.
"They left BNP while many others had been suffering immensely trying to drum up a massive anti-government campaign Khaleda Zia was trying to spread in the country over last couple of years," one insider told the Daily Observer.
"Now that the two are attempting to fly back and make nests with BNP, this probably is an ominous sign for the party," he said.
"If they intrude into the party, the leadership line-up of BNP may be broken and heart-burning may generate among those who have made enormous sacrifices for the party as well as for carrying out nationalist politics in the country," said another insider, who claims to have reach to party's high-ups.
Many present leaders of BNP and allied parties may lose their posts if Khaleda Zia goes for a shake-up to accommodate the two estranged leaders, he said.
Brig Gen ASM Hannan Shah, another Standing Committee member, said, "BNP will evaluate properly if the two important leaders come back to the party."
Sources said that the two leaders may join the party before next September 1, the 37th founding anniversary of the BNP, ignoring all objections and frustrations.
Former Dhaka University vice-chancellor Prof Emajuddin Ahmed is playing a vital role in returning the two former BNP leaders in the party, sources in the BNP said.
Khaleda Zia, who is an ardent listener to Emajuddin Ahmed and believer in his "foresight'" is also looking after the matter in person, the sources said.
Khaleda Zia appointed Badruddoza Chowdhury President in November 2001, but his political success faded in less than a year. He resigned the presidency under pressure from party leaders on June 21 in 2002, for allegedly disrespecting the BNP's founder Ziaur Rahman by not visiting his grave on the anniversary of his death and formed his Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh (BDB) party.
On the other hand, Oli Ahmed resigned from the BNP in 2006 over policy differences with the BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and formed his own party -- the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).