After Gen. Ershad took over power, Khaleda Zia became the Chair person of BNP
Right from the beginning Gen. Zia never took any initiative to organize BNP as a political party based on any ideals or ideology. It is easy to create a bunch of ‘Yes men’ picking up some stray self seeking oppurtunists opening gate of rampant corruption being saddled in power but it is never possible to organize a powerful political party. As a result immediately after the demise of Gen. Zia the power struggle and devisive in fighting between the vested interested groups within the party was getting intense with every passing day from the top to grass root level every where. The complexity of the situation went out of control of the ailing ealderly leader President Justice Sattar. This presented the opportunity to powerfull Gen. Ershad to force the ailing leader who was then admitted in the CMH to resign and usurped the state power himself. Soon after Gen. Ershad took over he ordered to siege all bank accounts of BNP. After this political activities of BNP virtually came to stand still. At that pathetic situation the rat race started among the leaders of BNP to jump on the band wagon of Jatiyo Party(JP) announced by Gen. Ershad. Thus, BNP was nearly getting extinct. At that critical juncture, using the good offices of Gen. Nurul Islam Shishu, a few senior leaders, some young selfless dedicted leaders and workers of Chatra Dal and Jubo Dal with lot of difficulties some how managed to convince Khaleda Zia, the house wife to become the party Chair Person. This saved the party and also created opportunity to reorganize the party.
Some of the leaders of the oil rich countries of the Middile East due to their personal relation with Zia extended not only financial assistance but helped her in many ways. They also conveyed to Gen. Ershad not to be unjust, oppressive and unduely coercive to Gen. Zia’s party. Bangladesh economy to a great extent id dependent on these oil rich Gulf states so, reluctantly Gen. Ershad had to exceed to their sermons. Gradually, Gen. Ershad had to release party accounts as well. Even after all these Gen. Ershad was assured by India that in the forth coming both in the Presidential and Parliamentary elections Gen. Ershad would certainly win with all out support and active co-operation of Awami League. In no way Khaleda Zia would be able to get her house in order within such a short time to face Gen Ershad and Awami League. Even then Gen. Ershad was not sure whether he would be able to retain his power!
The reason being, abortive coup det’at of Gen Manjur, taking the advantage of the death of President Zia hanging of selective 18 senior freedom fighter officers in a heist holding a camera trial inside the Jail and cold blooded murder of Gen. Manjur in custody with out any trial had generated adverse reaction and fuming anger which was gradually cristelizing among the armed forces and the people. This was the main head ache for Gen. Ershad being a repatriated officer.
That is why he needed the support of freedom fighter officers like us. As he failed to get any encourraging response from me he made a cunning move. He got in touch with Col. Rashid and Col. Faruk directly and threw a bate towards them. He told them if Col. faruk agrees to participate in the up comming Presidential election then he would allow the exiled leaders of August revolution to come back to form their own party in the national politics and to participate in the general election but with one condition, untill the Presidential election is held Col. Dalim, Col. Pasha, Col. Shahriar and Col. Nur would not return to the country. They would certainly be allowed to return only after the election. The bate was gulped by the two brother in laws. The reason was both of them had by then realized that with only money power and just being one of the leaders of August revolution would not provide them the scope to find a place in the leadership of PRAGASH. Here, who would become the leader at what level and shall hold which post would be decided strictly on marit and through the process of demiocratic centralism. In an ideology based party like PRAGASH, no such provision existed in the party manifesto that personal influence, ancestral aristrocasy, social standing or mony power would be the criteria to evaluate the leaders and workers.