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2024-04-18 12:05:57

AL MPs and Ministers ignoring party directives

Rafiqul Islam Roni

AL MPs and Ministers ignoring party directives

The central leadership of the Awami League has issued a stern press release concerning the upcoming upazila elections, instructing party MPs and ministers to refrain from any form of interference. Additionally, the establishment of family systems within the party and the endorsement of specific candidates have been expressly prohibited.

However, reports indicate that certain MPs, cabinet members, including former ministers, and even some central leaders are disregarding these directives.

Numerous instances have emerged where MPs have established family networks to influence the ongoing upazila polls, actively endorsing single candidates through special extended meetings.

Furthermore, reports suggest that some MPs are resorting to direct or indirect threats against party leaders and workers, with claims of potential "illegal" utilization of administrative resources to secure victory for preferred candidates. These actions have stirred dissatisfaction among grassroots members of the Awami League.

Political analysts have warned that the continued interference of MPs and ministers in the upazila elections could escalate internal tensions within the party, potentially leading to an increase in intra-party conflicts. They emphasize that failure to address these issues promptly and decisively may exact a heavy toll on the Awami League in the long run.

Political analyst and former vice-chancellor of Jagannath University Mizanur Rahman told Bangladesh Pratidin, “There is still time if the high command of Awami League does not strictly stop the excesses of MP-ministers, then the murder incidents will increase. There will be extreme chaos within the party. The party president has given instructions not to nominate anyone. But many MP-ministers are meeting and making a single candidate. For example, a single candidate has been announced in Cumilla Sadar Upazila before Eid. There is no single candidate. What the party says, they must be implemented. Failure to do so will exacerbate the crisis.”

“Brothers, sisters, sons, wives, relatives of MP-ministers are candidates, they cannot be prevented from being candidates. But special monitoring should be done. It should not be given responsibility to the upazila-district. Center has to intervene. Otherwise what is happening in Natore (the candidate was kidnapped), this incident will continue to happen. As a result, instability will increase at the field level. Strict monitoring should be done from now on, before heavy fines are imposed,” he added.

Meanwhile, on the last day of submission of nomination papers for the first phase, there have been allegations of abduction of a person named Delwar Hussain in Singra, Natore. The Election Commission (EC) has also found preliminary evidence of this complaint against joint general secretary of Upazila Awami League Lutful Habib, who is the brother-in-law of Information and Communication Technology Minister Junaid Ahmed Palak.

The internal conflict of Dhanbari Awami League of Tangail has become more pronounced around the upazila polls. Two-time former MP Ayesha Ferdous and her son Ashiq Ali have filed nomination papers for the post of upazila chairman in Hatia Upazila. However, whether his son Ashiq or his mother Ayesha will be the chairman depends on three-time Hatia MP and Hatia Upazila Awami League President Mohammad Ali.

According to political analysts, Ashiq’s father Muhammad Ali is responsible to running him for the post of chairman to make him political figure. His mother has been placed as a dummy candidate. If Ashiq's nomination is canceled due to some reason, Ayesha can be choosen.

Taking a stand against Awami League presidium member and former minister Abdur Razzak, the Upazila Awami League president and general secretary are publicly giving statements against him. Apart from this, they have also given a written complaint against him to the top leader of the central Awami League. However, most of the leaders and workers of Upazila Awami League are angry about this incident.

Narsingdi-2 (Palash) Constituency MP Dr. Anwarul Ashraf Khan Dilip's brother-in-law former mayor of Ghorashal municipality and municipal Awami League president Shariful Haque has been announced as the party candidate. Current Upazila Chairman and Upazila Jubo League President Syed Jabed Hossain was angry with the MP's announcement. He has also filed a written complaint against the MP to the party's central committee alleging activities contrary to party discipline.

In Munshiganj, Upazila Awami League President Afsaruddin Bhuiya has alleged that Munshiganj-3 Constituency MP Mohammad Faisal Biplab and his family did not submit nomination papers for the post of Chairman in Sadar Upazila Parishad elections.

He claimed that he had the support of the people, but he was pressured in various ways not to be a candidate. As a result, he fell ill and did not submit nomination papers. The only candidate who has submitted nomination papers in this upazila is the current chairman Anichuzzaman Anish. He is the uncle of the MP.

Shakhawat Hossain Sajal, son of Awami League MP Sahadara Mannan of Bogra-1 (Sariakandi-Sonatala) constituency, has been nominated for the post of Sariakandi Upazila Chairman. Besides, MP's brother Mihaduzzaman Liton has been a candidate for Sonatala. There has been a split in the party over this.

Awami League presidium member and Rajshahi City Mayor AHM Khairuzzaman Liton told Bangladesh Pratidin that the party chairperson had instructed not to give the symbol. Because, she wants participatory elections. But many MP-ministers are fielding relatives as single candidates - defying party directives. Because, the general secretary of the party published a written notice not to interfere in the election of MP-ministers in the upazila elections. That is also not accepted. Those who do not comply will be decided in the party forum.

Awami League joint general secretary AFM Bahauddin Nasim told Bangladesh Pratidin that depriving someone of their earned rights is an unforgivable crime and reprehensible. It is a violation of democratic and constitutional rights. Impeding leadership developments. Awami League's democratic practice of nominating MP-ministers' relatives as single candidates is a hindrance. Disobeying the instructions of the party means questioning the constitution of Awami League. The party will take disciplinary action against those who do this.

(The report was published on print and online versions of The Bangladesh Pratidin on April 18 and rewritten in English by Tanvir Raihan)

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