Tamara Yesmin Toma

Researcher, Dismislab
BNP’s alleged survey news circulated with a fake quote and non-existent committee
This article is more than 2 months old

BNP's alleged survey news circulated with a fake quote and non-existent committee

Tamara Yesmin Toma

Researcher, Dismislab

Several news sites recently released a story titled “72 percent leaders and activists oppose Tarique Rahman’s leadership: survey,” which was widely shared on social media. While the survey was announced citing a Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leader and a ‘Fact Finding’ committee, the party denies running such a committee, and the leader labeled the statement “fictitious” and “false.” 

On February 12th, the claim of this survey first appeared as a photocard on the Daily News Facebook page. Later on February 13th, it was published as a news report in two online news portals, named Bangla News Bank and Mymensingher Alo. The exact same report appeared on several portals on February 15th (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). Video version of the report is also available on Bangla News Bank’s YouTube channel.

The news was also shared on Facebook in the form of written reports (1, 2, 3), videos (1, 2) and photocards (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9). Photocards on different pages had the exact same caption, which read: “BNP’s Fact Finding Committee survey says 72% party leaders and activists don’t want Tarique Rahman’s leadership”.

The report says, “…the ‘correct leadership’ is responsible for this shaky state (of BNP), as revealed by the BNP’s Fact-Finding Committee survey. According to the survey, 72 percent of party leaders oppose Tarique Rahman’s leadership. Pro-Tarique leaders and activists are astonished by the information revealed in the survey of the Fact Finding Committee.” 

The report also claims, “Aninda Islam Amit, the convener of the fact-finding committee, stated, ‘the central leaders of the BNP conducted this survey to find out the internal weaknesses within the party with the urge to strengthen the BNP organizationally and increase its acceptance in the international arena. Weaknesses in Tarique Rahman’s leadership was highlighted more often in the survey.’”

Aninda Islam Amit, acting organizing secretary of BNP’s Central Committee, told Dismislab that no such fact-finding committee exists in the party. He said in a written statement, “There is no match with reality with what has been said on the online portal. The report contains fictitious statements attributed to me. I condemn and protest this heinous lie.”

When questioned if such a survey was done among BNP party leaders and activists, BNP Media Cell member Shairul Kabir Khan responded, “There was no such survey, they are fabricated and fake.” He also stated that the BNP has no Fact Finding Committee.

There was no news of this in the country’s major news portals, mainstream media, or television channels. Kamrul Hasan, a Daily Samakal reporter covering the BNP, told Dismislab that “No such survey information is available to the media”.

Previously, multiple fact-checking reports were published regarding fraudulent material carried by the Bangla News Bank (1, 2) and Bangla News Point (1, 2, 3, 4) Facebook pages.