POST TIME: 9 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 9 September, 2018 01:00:20 AM
AL to make sure no rebel candidate in next polls
Abu Jakir

AL to make sure no rebel candidate in next polls

Awami League will ensure that only one party candidate will contest from each seat in the parliamentary election scheduled to be held at the end of the year. AL insiders said there will be zero tolerance against anyone, including senior leaders, contesting as “rebel” candidates against the party’s electoral symbol Nouka (Boat) in the polls. Those violating this decision by the AL high-ups will have to face dire consequence irrespective of their position in the party, they added.

The diktat from the top leadership came even as AL ministers, lawmakers, central leaders, grassroots leaders and their supporters were engaged in fresh infighting to establish supremacy in their respective areas to get nomination for contesting the upcoming polls. At least four to five party men from each constituency in the country were making preparations for contesting the polls, triggering intra-party feuds, insiders revealed.

Talking to The Independent, several AL central leaders admitted that minimising intra-party feuds was a major challenge ahead of the polls. In the AL Central Working Committee (ALCWC) meeting on Thursday, AL president Sheikh Hasina instructed her senior party colleagues to take immediate steps to minimise internal conflicts.

AL presidium member Lt. Col. (retd) Muhammad Faruk Khan said that the meeting mainly focused on the party’s preparations for the forthcoming election. The party president had also instructed leaders to launch all out campaigns for the party symbol ‘Nouka’ and to resolve all differences among party men, he added.

Confirming this, AL central working committee member Delwar Hossain said, “There will be no tolerance towards party leaders who contest against the Nouka in the next polls. If any AL leader desires to contest as a rebel candidate, he/she will be expelled from the party forever.”

Also yesterday, AL general secretary Obaidul Quader warned the grassroots leaders of Tangail district that those involved in intra-party conflicts ahead of the national polls would have to face the music.

“Don’t build rooms within a room. Don’t create anarchy in the party. Tough action will be taken against troublemakers ahead of polls. We have already sent three show-cause notices to the leaders of Rajshahi, Barguna and Sylhet. So remain united and work for the victory of the party symbol Nouka,” he said.

A central AL leader confided on condition of anonymity that they have no opponent in the polls except their own party leaders and MPs. “Our main challenge is to minimise internal conflicts ahead of the next polls as almost all are preparing for contesting them,” he said.

Meanwhile, the ruling party has taken different initiatives to minimise the conflicts. The party had started organizational tours from this January to minimise intra-party feuds. Even the AL president had held an extended meeting at her official residence Ganabhaban last year, in which she directed her party leaders and MPs to strengthen her party by minimising internal conflicts. But it seems no initiative was working to minimise intra-party feuds.

AL presidium member Faruk Khan said Awami League was a 70-year-old political party with numerous leaders and workers and so it was normal to have competition. “Politics means challenge. But definitely it will be difficult for us to minimise intra-party feuds ahead of the next polls,” he said. AL organizing secretary Abu Sayeed Al Mahmud Swapan echoed: “Our main task will be to reduce intra-party feuds ahead of the next polls. The party high-ups have already started working on this issue.”

The ruling party leaders think that the 11th parliamentary election will be very crucial and competitive as the country’s major political parties, including Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), will participate in the polls. However, there have been a lot of debates and discussions recently on whether all the political parties would happily participate in the polls or not. BNP had boycotted the last parliamentary polls held on January 5, 2014, resulting in 153 lawmakers from the ruling party to be elected unopposed.