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Awami League desperate to ensure party discipline

  • Published at 01:23 am July 20th, 2019
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The ruling party's emblem and party symbol engraved on the front side of the new Awami League's central office at 23 Bangabandhu Avenue in Dhaka Gulistan. This picture was taken on Thursday, June 21, 2018 Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune

Party chief Sheikh Hasina instructed the central leaders to strengthen the party by taking strict action against leaders and activists who have violated party discipline

Failing to maintain party discipline, particularly at the grassroots level—despite being in office for three consecutive terms—the ruling Awami League high command is now desperate to solve the problems at any cost before their next national council.

At a joint meeting of the Awami League central working committee on July 12, party chief Sheikh Hasina instructed the central leaders to strengthen the party by taking strict action against leaders and activists who have violated party discipline. 

“Father of the Nation Bangabandhu had brought independence for the nation by strengthening the party,” she said, adding: “We have been able to bring Bangladesh to its present state as people were behind us and supported us. People’s support is the main strength of Awami League, and we need to build strong party structures.”

Speaking to Dhaka Tribune, several party sources confirmed that the ruling party is going to suspend rival candidates inside the party and their patrons.

Joint General Secretary Abdur Rahman said the office secretary will send show-cause letters to the accused, asking for explanation. "Show-cause letters will also be sent to patrons of rival candidates, including several ministers and lawmakers."

The central working committee will take action against them based on the explanations, the leader added.

He also hoped that Awami League will be able to solve the problems and bring the party under strict discipline before the next national council, scheduled to be held in October this year.

Intra-party conflict

According to party sources, most of the units of the ruling party are facing inner conflict, rivalry and discipline problems.

In the last upazila election, several party leaders sheltered rival candidates and the party high command failed to convince those rival candidates to withdraw their candidature, for which, the party had to face defeat in many upazilas.

There are also allegations against grassroots leaders that they do not pay heed to central leaders’ advice, sources said.

Sources in the Awami League president’s political office at Dhanmondi stated that grassroots-level leaders have been refusing to follow the central committee’s orders for a long time.

An organizing secretary of the Awami League central working committee admitted that grassroots leaders do not recognize them properly, adding: “We urged local leaders several times to solve intra-party conflict, complete committees of local units, and send a proper list of committee members, but they did not do it properly.”

Some central leaders even patronize rival groups for their own interest, which had been causing serious discipline problems inside the party, the leader said.

The Awami League command is aware of the situation and confident to solve discipline related problems at any cost before the national council.

On July 11, Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader said that it is very important to bring the party under discipline. No party can run without discipline and they are aware of discipline-related issues in the Awami League.

He said: “The ruling party is facing several inner conflicts, there are some problems at the grassroots levels of local units. Some party leaders contested in upazila elections against party-nominated candidates and we were unable to finalize the councils for some units.”

Quader, also the road transport and bridges minister, further said joint secretaries of the party have been tasked to solve these problems and hoped the issues will be sorted out soon.