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Thursday, October 9, 2014, Ashwin 24, 1421, Zilhajj 13, 1435 Hijr

Khaleda may call Zobaida home to shore up BNP
Staff correspondent
Publish Date : 2014-10-09,  Publish Time : 10:24,  View Count : 119
BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia is actively considering to bring back home her daughter-in-law Dr Zobaida Rahman, wife of Tarique Rahman, to infuse new blood in the party's leadership as part of her plan to revamp and prepare it for an anti-government movement.
BNP insiders on Wednesday said that chances of Zobaida coming home from London gained further ground after Khaleda on Monday said she could not kick off yet a long planned movement to oust the government. Tarique, Senior Vice Chairman of BNP, now lives in self-imposed exile in the UK capital to avert trial in Bangladesh over alleged corruption.
She is still grappling to prepare the "ruptured and nervous" BNP for a high stake campaign to force an "inclusive" early election under a non-party caretaker authority. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her ruling Awami Legue rejected the demand and threatened BNP to face it on streets if the opposition party tried to create violence and anarchy in the name of movement.
"To overcome the stigma Begum Zia thinks BNP would fare well 'in all respects' if she (Khaleda) had Zobaida beside her," said an insider requesting not to be named. "The party has been on a long wait for launching the movement but yet the ground is not prepared," he said.
A large section of BNP leaders and activists felt the movement would be easier and more effective had Tarique been at home - which at the moment looks unlikely. "So, his wife who also has a penchant for politics is her (Khaleda's) natural choice," said another BNP source within Begum Zia's ambit.
Zobaida was a registered government physician but she lost her job recently because she had been staying abroad for years without approval of the authorities concerned. She left Bangladesh along with Tarique after a military-backed government took charge in early 2007 and launched a countrywide crackdown on corruption and abuse of power.
Tarique and his brother Arafat Rahman, a businessman, were among hundreds of politicians and businesspeople arrested in the drive. They (two brothers) went abroad for medical treatment after obtaining bail from jail.

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