• Saturday, Dec 07, 2019
  • Last Update : 01:13 am

Awami League facing serious problems maintaining discipline

  • Published at 01:18 am September 3rd, 2019
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Mehedi Hasan

After retaining power in the 11th national election, Awami League began forming complete units committees but the initiative is currently at a standstill

The ruling Awami league has been facing serious organisational problems and facing challenges to build a strong ground for the party ahead of its national council.

With only two months remaining for holding 21st Awami League national council, the party has failed to solve several problems including inner conflicts, forming full committees, preventing intruders and rebel candidates. Such a serious situation may throw the party into deep trouble and hamper the party’s organizational skills, said several leaders.

According to several senior leaders of the Awami League, the party has been in power for around 11 years, but failed to resolve the problemsin the last three years.

Full committees 

It is a common rule in Awami League to complete the committees of all units before the national council to select councillors. But hundreds of Awami League units are still running without full phased committees.

After retaining power in the 11th national election, Awami League began forming complete units committees but the initiative is currently at a standstill.

The ruling party has 78 units across Bangladesh, including ones in 12 cities and 64 districts. It also has 490 upazila units, 323 municipality units and 4,550 units in wards and at union levels. 

Dhaka city’s north and south units are counted as the most important units of Awami League but they have no full committees for over three years.

The units in 26 thanas and 46 wards in Dhaka North do not have full committees, while the units in 23 thanas and 57 wards in Dhaka South do not have committees.

Apart from Awami League, its affiliated organizations also could not complete forming full phased committees for units across the country.

Awami League’s affiliated organizations Bangladesh Mohila Awami League, Jubo Mohila League and Bangladesh Tanti League have their full central committees formed in 2017.

The last time Awami Swechchhasebak League’s central committee was formed was seven years ago and the same panel is still in charge. Swechchhasebak League’s Dhaka city south and north units are also running with 13-year-old committees, since they were formed on May 31, 2006.

Bangladesh Krishak League’s central committee was last formed seven years ago, and it expired in 2015, but it is still running the organization.

Several sources in Awami League said the party will start preparations for councils after August, the mourning month. They also admitted that completing the task of all units committees is a difficult job.

Intruders 

Several Awami League leaders have said that intruders from BNP and Jamaat have flooded the party.

Around 15,000 BNP-Jamaat leaders and activists have joined the ruling party over the past 10 years, said sources.

Terming intruders as “kauwa,” Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader mentioned several times that his party has been flooded by intruders.

Awami League presidium member and spokesperson of the 14-party alliance Mohammad Nasim also said that the new members in Awami League (intruder) are dangerous and are tarnishing the party image through their misdeeds.

Prime Minister and Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina recently instructed senior party leaders to identify and expel such infiltrators, hybrids, and extortionists.

She also said that these intruders from BNP and Jamaat have been using Awami League to change their fortune, aside from getting involved in criminal activities.

The Awami League high command echoed her several times to make a list of intruders and to kick them out from the party. However Awami League are yet to expel a single intruder from the party.

A joint general secretary of the Awami League said it is quite impossible to kick out intruders as most of them were brought in by influential leaders.

“If we kick them out from the party now, the party’s organizational stability maybe compromised. We can do nothing other than sharing space with the intruders,” said the leader.

Awami League Presidium member Pijush Kanti Bhattacharjee said inducting leaders and activists of Jamaat and Shibir in the Awami League is the worst decision. Awami League leaders will have to pay for this mistake.

He said: “These BNP-Jamaat leaders and activists are opportunists. They should be kept in chains.”

Intra-party conflict 

Conflicts among the party’s grass roots, central leaders along with lawmakers and district-thana level leaders, are the main problems the Awami League has been facing for the last decade.

Due to inner conflicts, Awami League leaders and activists have been engaging in bloody clashes across the country.

According to party sources, most units of the ruling party are facing inner conflicts, rivalry and indiscipline.

To establish supremacy and to show power, several party leaders and lawmakers have sheltered rival candidates in the last upazila election. The party high command has failed to convince the rival candidates to withdraw their candidature, due to which the party had to face defeats in several upazilas.

The Awami League high command has decided to take actions against the leaders who have sheltered rival candidates as well as the candidates, but the decision is yet to be implemented.

Joint General Secretary Abdur Rahman said the office secretary will send show-cause letters to the accused, asking for an 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 the 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.

When contacted, Awami League Presidium member Pijush Kanti Bhattacharjee said that full committees will be formed in all units before the convention.

Awami League Presidium member Matin Khasru said: “The 21st National council will be held in due time and the problems including managing intruders, solving inner conflicts, making committees full-fledged will be solved before the national council.”