Staff Correspondent
Describing the next general election as very important for establishing a sustainable democratic governance system, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged the rebel candidates of her party to withdraw their candidacies in favour of the Grand Alliance contestants.
The national election is important to “save the nation and the country from the ferocious clutch of the BNP-Jamaat clique. So, we’ve decided to take part in the election in alliance with the like-minded parties,” she said in a letter issued on Friday.
“I’m considering your dedications and works. Work for the Grand Alliance candidates to continue the country’s development work,” Sheikh Hasina in the letter said.
In the letter, Sheikh Hasina praised her party leaders to make Awami League a strong and a public welfare oriented political party.
“I’m expressing my heartiest gratitude to you (leaders) for implementation of the party’s organising programmes. Besides, I’m also grateful to you for playing vital roles for the party,” Sheikh Hasina said in the letter.
The prime minister also said if Awami League wins the forthcoming national election, they (rebel candidates) will also be a partner of the win. “I can say for sure no one has the organisational strength to defeat ‘Boat’ if Awami League remains united,” she said in the letter.
“Most of the leaders have dedication and contribution for the Awami League. Considering the dedication, sacrifice, qualification, skinless and popularity made by the leaders, it was very tough for the party to choose a single candidate for a constituency,” AL President said in the letter.
She said AL Parliamentary Board examined, checked and crosschecked every nomination paper with enough caution in a bid to ensure victory in the polls.
A total of 4,023 aspirants collected nomination forms to get AL ticket for contesting the polls. Of them, 3,783 aspirants have failed to get nomination.
More than 50 rebel candidates are still in the election race as independent candidates ignoring AL’s stern warnings of expulsion forever.
A five-member team has already started working on the issue with joint general secretary Jahangir Kabir Nanak — the most prominent among those deprived of candidacy — leading the team.
The other four members are joint general secretary Abdur Rahman, and organising secretaries Ahmad Hossain, BM Mozammel Haque and AFM Bahauddin Nasim who also failed to get the party nominations.
While talking to Bangladesh Post several senior leaders of AL expressed concerns as the rebel candidates and intra-party clash may be a major challenge to the ruling party’s bid for the upcoming election.
A total of 264 nomination papers were filed from the AL while 79 rebels also filed their nomination papers as independent candidates.
Forty seven new faces got nomination replacing many senior leaders and members of parliament from the party. Some leaders across the country expressed their dissatisfaction against the party-nominated candidates.
At a programme in the city on Tuesday, Obaidul Quader said they will try to convince the rebel candidates till December 9 (Today).
“AL is a big party, so too many issues will also exist here. But the rebels will face very harsh decision from the party if they disagree even after discussion. There is no room for rebel candidates in the party and they will be expelled from AL forever.”
Seniors leaders of the party also stressed that the rebel candidate problem will be solved in a proper way as their presence might benefit opponent candidates.
Joint general secretary Abdur Rahman said their process of discussion is going on in full swing. “We have started contacting local leaders who openly showed their anger at different programmes to party-nominated candidates in the first phase.”
Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader also said the team, led by Jahangir Kabir Nanak, will work until the election is over as the members of this team will not participate in the election. The team will also monitor all activities of elections and inform the central leaders about the latest situation.