Monday, 25th January , 2021, 02:57 pm,BDST

PM should take bold steps against trouble-makers inside her party

Even though Bangladesh has been keeping its economic progress up amid COVID-19 pandemic and maintaining political stability under your  leadership,  the higher echelon of the Awami League should not look past even minor matters—dissent and dissonance– within the party. The issue of tenacious rebel councillor and mayoral candidates in the on-going Pourashava elections has come to light conspicuously, embarrassing even you, as the high command of the ruling party.

With two phases of the Pourashava polls already over, more than a dozen rebel Awami League mayoral contestants and a great many councillor candidates have come out successful. On the other hand, in all, 64 ruling party men and 11 independent candidates have been elected mayors so far in 86 municipalities with remaining mayoral posts going to other opposition parties. There are a total of 329 municipalities all over the country. 

The number of rebel candidates may be minuscule for the country’s largest political party—Awami League. But such kind of disloyalty and betrayal should be nipped in the bud before it surfaced as a great crisis to the party. We have learned a lesson when our country has paid a heavy price as one of the history’s greatest infamies—killing of the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman— took place in this country. What was the prime reason behind the death of Bangabandhu and his family members? It is said that his only Achilles heel was his magnanimity and kindness and his inability to quell the dissenters and traitors within his party.           

In the current Pourashava elections, it is widely said that Awami League rebel candidates were mostly backed by the ruling party parliament members that caused confusion in the rank and file of the party. A handful of such contestants were said to be making off-colour remarks when they said they are ‘boatmen’ rather than loyal to the ruling party symbol, ‘boat’. It’s proven ad infinitum that there have been always some fifth columnists lurking in the party and at an opportune moment, they have shown their true colours.

In the past, there were many incidents of disobedience within Awami League even in the national elections but they were largely spared party actions whether they lost or won the polls. This time it is hoped that the defiant candidates in the Pourashava elections won’t get off scot-free when ruling party  General Secretary ObaidulQuader underlined his resolve that his party’s rebellious contestants would face severe party disciplinary actions and would not be given party nominations in any future elections. 

The on-going Pourashava elections are taking place in peaceful atmosphere with the government providing level playing field for all contestants from all political parties with voters’ turnout recorded nearly 70 percent. Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) is being widely used in the polls—a sign of your government’s commitment to materialize the digitalization of the country’s voting systems.  

It is time for you to grab the bull by the horns by taking harsh measures against insubordinate party men and to concentrate on developing an unbiased selection process in which party die-hards should not be deprived of nominations for any future elections. Otherwise, this trend will repeat itself again and again and things may not change one iota in years to come.

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