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Dhaka Tribune

Constituencies of ‘detached’ MPs prone to violence: PM

Update : 22 Apr 2013, 04:27 AM

Prime Minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina yesterday told her party’s lawmakers that the recent spates of violence have shown that constituencies led by “detached” MPs are more susceptible to these occurrences.

She went on to warn that such candidates have “little” chance of getting party tickets for the upcoming polls, after which, a number of MPs blamed her advisers for playing stakes in their constituencies.

Advising MPs to frequently visit their own constituencies, maintain good relationship with local leaders and prepare for the upcoming elections, Hasina warned: “Stay alert to avoid such incidents in the future.”

She was addressing a meeting of the Awami League Parliamentary Party (ALPP) at the parliament, where ruling lawmakers decided to make Speaker and acting president Abdul Hamid their candidate for the presidential race. 

Pointing out that “isolated” characters should not represent the people, Hasina declared: “Those who have no connection [with the people] will not get party nominations in the next election.”

Emphasising that political parties are built on organisational hierarchies, she continued: “A party’s main base is its organisation.” 

“So MPs, who have no ties with local organisations, will not get nomination,” an AL lawmaker, who was present at the meeting, quoted Hasina as saying.

The leader of the house claimed that a profile of the current MPs have been made based on several surveys that were conducted in all the parliamentary constituencies and said that party leaders will only be considered for nomination after the findings are scrutinised.

She also asked them to accelerate communication with people in their constituency and prepare for the next election.

Our sources in the meeting said that after the onslaught of advices and warnings from the Prime Minister, Sirajganj MP Shafiqul Islam sought for her attention and described how some areas of his constituency suffered from violence during the recent countrywide political turmoil.  

He went on to criticise the roles of the area’s Deputy Commissioner (DC) and Superintendent of Police (SP) during the occurrences terming them “mysterious” and alleged that despite several calls from him, the local administration’s boss and law enforcement chief did not respond to his requests.

Veteran AL leader Tofail Ahmed picked up on the MP’s claims and pointed out that prime minister’s Establishment Adviser HT Imam is also from the area and questioned why the DC and SP should act mysteriously despite his presence.

HT Imam has been alleged to be one of the most influential advisers to the prime minister and according to party sources, is one of the major players in the ruling party’s handling of the administration.

Following Tofail’s comment, Shafiqul Islam and a number of other MPs criticised the actions of HT Imam alleging that despite being a trusted aide of Hasina, he has appointed a number of controversial people to important posts.

Hasina, in the meeting, also pointed out that many of the MP’s have improper knowledge of Bangladesh’s history. “You are going to TV talk shows every day. That is not the issue, but you have to know the history properly.”

She then went on to brief the MPs about the history of Bangladesh’s formation including the founding of Bangladesh Krishak Sramik Awami League (Baksal) and former president and military strongman Ziaur Rahman’s rise to power.

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