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30 November, 2016 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 30 November, 2016 01:32:49 AM

Ivy spars with Osman as intra-AL feud worsens

20-party partners extend support to BNP’s Sakhawat
Abu Jakir
Ivy spars with Osman as 
intra-AL feud worsens

The Awami League (AL) is riddled with internal conflicts despite repeated attempts made by the party’s top brass to curb them.
The party’s newly elected general secretary, Obaidul Quader, has said several times that minimising intra-party feud would be his major task. However, the party's effort to launch organisational tours across the country to build up unity among grassroots leaders before the upcoming general election seems to have borne no fruit.
Take, for instance, the situation in Narayanganj ahead of the city corporation election there. The party has fallen into complete disarray following the clash of two of its district leaders, Shamim Osman and Selina Hayat Ivy. Last week, the Premier had sat with both Ivy and Osman at her official residence to resolve the longstanding feud between them. After the meeting, Hasina had directed Osman and other Narayanganj district leaders to obey the party's instructions and work for Ivy, the AL-backed mayoral candidate in the city corporation poll, to secure her victory.
However, the conflicts started afresh after the two leaders' meetings with the party’s general secretary Obaidul Quader and other central leaders. The meeting over the party candidate’s election campaign strategy centring the upcoming Narayanganj City Corporation (NCC) poll was held at party president Sheikh Hasina’s Dhanmondi political office on Sunday and Monday.    
Earlier, Ivy talked with the central leaders about her campaigning strategy for the upcoming NCC polls to become victorious. She informed the central leaders that most Narayanganj district unit leaders, including some members of the Osman family, were with her. But Shamim Osman himself was spreading falsehoods against her, she alleged.
Ivy expressed optimism that she would be victorious in the NCC poll if everything went according to the plan.
“It would be great if Shamim Osman remains with me, but it would be even better if he plays a silent role during the campaigning,” she told the leaders.
At one stage, Ivy informed the central leaders about the contribution of her father to the AL, saying that her father was a former president of the party's Narayanganj district unit and had sacrificed his life for the party. But Shamim Osman’s father had only made financial gains from the party, she alleged.    
On hearing the allegation against his father, Osman reacted sharply, and told the AL general secretary that he wanted a full explanation of Ivy’s comment.  
However, when contacted, Shamim Osman, a lawmaker of the ruling party, told The Independent yesterday, “Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is my leader. I will inform my leader after her return home about Ivy’s allegation against my father.”
Osman also said he would join the election campaign in favour of Ivy. “Even if Ivy does not invite me to join her election campaign, I would personally campaign in favour of the party symbol,” he added.
Ivy declined to make any comment on the issue.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Hasina is expected to return home today after attending the inaugural ceremony of the Budapest Water Conference in Hungary.
Party sources said the central leaders would sit again with Hasina today in a bid to resolve the ongoing feud between Osaman and Ivy.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) yesterday placed before the Election Commission (EC) several demands, including deployment of the Army and seizure of illegal arms, during the run-up to the Narayanganj City Corporation (NCC) election slated for December 22.
 The other demands are immediate transfer of a government official if there is any allegation against the person, handing over legal arms to the local police station before the poll, creating a level playing field, ensuring security of poll officials and their presence at centres, submitting the agent list of contenders before 10 days and deployment of law enforcers in strength.
A three-member BNP delegation, led by its senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, visited the EC office with the letter of BNP secretary general Mirza Fakrul Islam Alamgir and handed it over to EC secretary Mohammad Abdullah.
Rizvi told journalists: “We hope the EC will take steps to brighten its image before completing its tenure. We have demanded deployment of the Army seven days before the polls.”
He said the EC secretary assured them that their letter would be sent to the EC and the demands would be looked into.
The BNP yesterday formed a central coordination committee to carry out campaigning in favour of the party-backed mayoral candidate, Sakhawat Hossain Khan.
BNP standing committee member Goyeshwar Chandra Roy has been made chief coordinator and organising secretary (Dhaka division) Fazlul Haque Milon member-secretary of the committee. The other members of the committee are BNP joint secretary general Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal, Khairul Kabir Khokan, Abdus Salam Azad and Shahidul Islam Babul.
As part of the party charter, presidents and general secretaries of all front organisations will also be members of the committee.
The election to Narayanganj City Corporation is going be held on December 22. Over 4.79 lakh voters are expected to cast their votes to elect a city mayor, 27 ward councillors and nine women councillors from the reserved seats.
The maiden election to the NCC was held on October 30, 2011, when Ivy won the race, defeating the then AL-backed candidate Shamim Osman.
UNB adds: The 20-party alliance partners yesterday extended their full support to BNP mayoral candidate Advocate Sakhawat Hossain Khan in the Narayanganj City Corporation (NCC) polls.
They gave their support at a meeting with BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia at her Gulshan office last night.
Two alliance partners -- LDP and Kalyan Party -- also assured of withdrawing their candidates who filed nomination to contest the election from the polls race.
Talking to reporters about the meeting, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said, “The meeting has decided to extend full support to BNP candidate Sakhawat Hossain Khan in the NCC elections. The candidate of LDP and Kalyan Party will withdraw their candidacy.”
He said the two-hour meeting that began around 8:30pm also condemned the killing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and brutal repression on them.
It also urged the government to take steps to engage in discussions with the Myanmar government and the United Nations to resolve the problem.
Fakhrul said the meeting hailed the BNP chairperson for presenting her 13-point proposal on constituting a stronger Election Commission. The 20-party leaders also decided to drum up public support across the country in favour of the proposals.
The BNP secretary general said the meeting strongly denocunced the recent attacks on Hindus and Buddhists in Brahmanbaria and Gaibandha respectively, and demanded the government put the perpetrators on trial.



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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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