Twelve constituents of the BNP-led 20-party alliance have broken away and formed a new coalition ahead of the 12th national election.
Despite going in a different direction, the new coalition will be firmly in the BNP's corner throughout the election cycle, Mostafa Jamal Haider, president of the Kazi Zafar Ahmed-led Jatiya Party faction, said while announcing the formation of the alliance on Thursday, reports bdnews24.com.
"I can emphatically say that we are united in heart and mind with the BNP, the largest opposition party in the country, and our bond will remain unbreakable. We are proceeding in a slightly different direction and strategy to bring all political parties that are opposed to this fascist government, together."
On the breakup of the 20-party alliance, Jamal said there was "no room for misunderstandings" as he underlined the new coalition's commitment to the anti-government movement initiated by the BNP.
The other members of the new alliance are the Bangladesh Kalyan Party, Bangladesh Labour Party, Bangladesh Jatiya Dal, NDP, Bangladesh Muslim League, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Bangladesh, Islami Oikyajote, Bangladesh Samyabadi Dal, Bangladesh Islamic Party and Jatiya Ganotantrik Party.
The BNP expanded its four-party coalition to a 20-party alliance in April 2012, with the aim of building a movement against the Awami League government.
The BNP-led alliance participated in the 2018 national election under the banner of the Jatiya Oikya Front, which also included Kamal Hossain's Gono Forum, ASM Abdur Rab's Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal and Kader Siddiqui's Krishak Sramik Janata League.
But the Oikya Front was soundly defeated at the polls, garnering only eight of the 300 parliamentary seats. After the election, the Oikya Front seemingly went into the political wilderness while the BNP also failed to mobilise the 20-party alliance in its campaign to remove the Awami League from power.