The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (Bengali: বাংলাদেশ জাতীয়তাবাদী দল, abbreviated BNP) is one of the two major contemporary political parties of Bangladesh. It was founded on 1 September 1978 by former Bangladesh President Ziaur Rahman after the Presidential election of 1978, with a view to uniting the people with nationalist ideology of the country.
The party holds the ideology of Bangladeshi nationalism as its core concept and adopted a 19-point program which declared that "The sovereignty and independence of Bangladesh, golden fruits of the historic liberation struggle, is our sacred trust and inviolable right". The founding manifesto of the BNP claims that the people of Bangladesh want to "...see that all-out faith and confidence in the almighty Allah, democracy, nationalism and socialism of social and economic justice are reflected in all spheres of national life".
After the Presidential election of 1978 the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) was established on 1 September.
The constitution of the party was drafted in 21 days of the formation with 76 members with Ziaur Rahman as the chief convener, M. Hamidullah Khan as the Executive Secretary and Dr. A. Q. M. Badruddoza Chowdhury was appointed as the Secretary General.
Begum Khaleda Zia, who served as the party's chairperson from 1983, was elected as the first woman Prime Minister of Bangladesh and the second female Prime Minister of a Muslim majority country after Pakistan's Benazir Bhutto.
Begum Khaleda Zia is the chairperson of the party, with Tarique Rahman as the senior vice-chairman and Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir as the secretary-general.
The BNP won the second, fifth, sixth and eighth national elections and two Presidential elections in 1978 and 1981. The party also holds the record of being the largest opposition in the history of parliamentary elections of the country, with 116 seats in the seventh national election of June 1996. It does not currently have representation in parliament after its boycotting of the 2014 national election.