As the fictional character Don Quixote was fighting the windmills, our immediate past opposition political parties’ focus was quite stubbornly locked at the “Hawa Bhaban” and all the corruption monsters that lived there.

All the chatters, starting from the top leader to the street level worker, inevitably centered around Hawa Bhaban and the emerging BNP leader Tareq Rahman, his expensive suite, alleged gambling, NYSE gold medal, and the free for all Malaysia story (every time I wanted to know what happened, I heard a new but contradicting story).

And while all these quixotic battle against the Hawa Bhaban was going on, a bunch of young leaders of BNP along with Tareq Rahman, disseminated out of Hawa Bhaban into many smaller low profile offices around the upscale neighborhoods in Dhaka. During the last five years, Hawa Bhaban remained as the symbolic office of BNP chairperson to be used for pre-election public activities.

During the last five years when everybody else was busy counting exactly how much money Tareq Rahman stole, he was busy building a grass root organizational structure for a party which was so far a supporter based party.

Even during this current turmoil, one after another shrewd political strategies were devised by these teams sitting in those small elegantly decorated office spaces either in Banani, Gulshan, Baridhara, Uttara or Dhanmondi.

At the same time there was a failure to field another political team that will match Tareq Rahman group in youthfullness, strategy resources and versatility. As Tareq Rahman group was built when BNP was in opposition, the counter group should also have been commissioned while AL was in opposition.

And what about all the money he collected? Well, again another quixotic adventure. Starting from nomination seekers of 2001 election, till now there must have been substantial monetary dealings in the name of Tareq Rahman. What we call corruption; team Tareq calls it campaign contribution. In fact in a country with no law on campaign finance, no transparency in the finances of political parties, absolutely no auditing, it was a very easy smokescreen for Tareq Rahman in all his financial dealings.

Until there is a serious reform on campaign finance, Tareq Rahman and his team will remain beyond the reach of law.

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