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Dhaka Tribune

80 AL MPs may not get nominations

Update : 29 Jul 2013, 05:23 PM

About 70 to 80 ruling Awami League lawmakers may not earn a ticket to contest the next parliamentary elections, after a recent survey conducted by the party revealed that they have become “isolated” from grassroots support.

The report suggested the “isolated” MPs maintained little or no contact with the party’s grassroots leaders and activists, let alone people in their respective constituency, confirmed AL officials.

The survey, carried out by an international organisation that the AL claimed is a professional in this field, also revealed the ruling party has received a “recent boost in popularity” in rural areas.

At the same time, the party has lost ground in urban areas, and the defeat of AL-backed candidates in the recent five city corporation polls confirm this trend, highly placed AL sources said.

AL leaders said the survey was conducted down to the union level in each and every constituency. It used “modern technology” and graphic illustrations. The agency concerned also conducted its survey on the potential BNP candidates.

However, the sample size of the survey and the name of the organisation, which conducted the survey, were not available.

People from 10 different professions were queried through the survey, which included eleven questions, including whether the current AL MP is involved in criminal activities, corruption and nepotism. Their personal image, family influence, development activities, MP’s behaviour, relationship with local administration and relationship with upazila chairman, were also assessed.

This was the fourth survey AL conducted to assess the popularity of its lawmakers and the party. The findings and the data were handed over to the party President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during the last parliamentary session.

The study recommended changing the party’s candidates in 70-80 constituencies, indicating a fall in popularity of the incumbent MPs in those areas.

AL General Secretary and LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam yesterday confirmed that the survey was conducted.

This report was the basis for Sheikh Hasina and Sajeeb Wazed Joy’s recent claims of having information on winning the next elections.

Joy, on July 23, while addressing an iftar party arranged by the Jubo League, claimed to have information regarding AL’s victory, and its assumption of office for the next term.

On Sunday, the PM echoed Joy’s statement and said he made such remarks on the basis of a survey report.

However, the main opposition BNP said it sensed a conspiracy over Joy’s statement, terming it as an “information conspiracy” and “blue print for vote rigging.”

Earlier, Hasina at the parliamentary party meeting, had said some 30 MPs’ conditions were the worst while another 30 MPs’ condition were not so good in their respective constituencies.

Syed Ashraful Islam yesterday, while talking to reporters following an Iftar party, organised by the party’s sub-committee on publicity affairs at the Ladies Club, restated that the Awami League would assume office again by winning the next parliamentary polls.

“We are taking preparations for contesting the next polls and will intensify the election preparations after Eid,” he said.

Awami League presidium member Nuh-ul-Alam Lenin told the Dhaka Tribune that as the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina used to get survey reports from agencies every month. Besides these, the AL president directed surveys every year to assess the condition of the organisation. “According to the reports Awami League is on track to win the next polls,” he said.

Lenin said the reports showed that some of the party lawmakers were no longer competitive, and new candidates would get nominations in their constituencies.

The AL leader, however, did not mention the name of the organisation that conducted the survey, but said it was a “professional foreign organisation.”

Mahbub-ul-Alam Hanif, joint general secretary of the Awami League, told the Dhaka Tribune: “Netri (Hasina) directed some surveys, and certainly received the results. Obviously, she made such comments based on the reports.”


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