Awami League President Sheikh Hasina, running the development works facing utmost challenges, has correctly diagnosed that the upcoming national election will be tough and most challenging. And accordingly, she has chosen the candidates who can draw the support of mass people. Knowing very well that she has had a tremendous publicity about the development works she has done over the past 10 years, she even then was much cautious about choosing the candidates.
To bring about success in the election thereby, the party has selected its candidates who have a clean image, wide acceptability in their localities and also possibility to win in the popular votes. And to that view, it has not hesitated to drop many of its old faces and even incumbent members of parliament, including a number of heavyweight and tested leaders, due to controversies and allegations of internal feuds against their names.
The new faces that have been brought in the electoral race seem to be more promising as people have much curiosity about them. Also they have an advantage as newcomers.
Unlike Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), which believes that the election is more than a war to them, AL believes in participating in the national election in a festive and peaceful manner. That election is not a war but a way to take the country’s democratic stride forward through sending people’s representatives to the Jatiya Sangsad has been proved by AL times and again.
Substantially, this signifies AL’s firm belief in rising to the state power with the people’s mandate only. People of different classes and professions have appreciated the party’s stance as it hates muscle power as a means to come to rule a democratic country. That the party has shown zero tolerance in terms of party discipline has also been applauded by the conscious section of people.
Prime Minister and AL President Sheikh Hasina signalled quite a number of times that those who had been losing popularity and also the controversial ones would not be given party nomination. As a result, more than 40 leaders including party leaders of joint general secretary and organising secretary levels have failed to get the party ticket.
Consequently, a comparatively clean AL, unlike BNP, has managed to secure people’s confidence over the party. In this regard, the joining of various Islamic parties with AL proves to the people that the party believes in peace and harmony. Reportedly, some 70 out the total 80 Islamic parties are now with Sheikh Hasina’s AL and she has been regarded by these parties as ‘Qawmi Janani’. This change of attitude has come after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina included Qawmi madrasas in the national curriculum. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina wants to facilitate moderate Islam, which is widely regarded as the religion of peace.
Most of these Islamic parties earlier joined hands with anti-AL allies and traditionally they were the vote bank of BNP. These parties have realised AL as more pro-people and not at all anti-Islamic. According to them, what Sheikh Hasina did for Islam and for the development of Islamic education, nobody ever did like her.
This means a total of 2-2.5 crore religious voters will tilt towards AL. Political analysts believe that it will significantly impact on the election results in favour of AL. The analysts firmly believe that this clean image of AL may lead the party to come to the state power again.
On the other hand, Tarique Zia and other BNP leaders, during interviewing nomination aspirants, stressed the fact that the party would rely on those candidates who could endure the war in the election field until the last minute.
As part of their design as such the party asked its supporters to stay alert for any situation. BNP’s acting chairman Tarique Rahman seems seriously active in London, with intent to either foil the election or undermine its results at any cost.
As a result of this ploy, the list of the party’s nomination candidates is flooded with controversial figures. They unleashed terror and violence even when they came to collect nomination papers. Also many of the BNP leaders were arrested by police over different criminal charges.
Political analysts also believe that this might pose negative impacts on the party’s image, which could benefit AL.