Internal feuds in ruling Awami League are on the rise ahead of the national polls likely to be held in December.
As the election is nearing, longstanding internal feuds and newly developed ones centring party nominations are transforming even into clashes resulting into death of party leaders and activists, party leaders said.
Expressing dissatisfactions with the internal feuds, Awami League president Sheikh Hasina, also the prime minister, at AL central working committee meeting at her official residence Ganabhaban on September 6 asked party general secretary Obaidul Quader and organising secretaries to take immediate steps to minimise internal feuds.
AL working committee unanimously decided to take actions to reduce the internal feuds as it would hamper the victory of the party in the national election, AL presidium member Mohammad Abdur Razzaque said.
Accordingly, AL general secretary on September 11 served show-cause notices on 14 leaders—AL lawmakers Monoranjan Sheel Gopal for Dinajpur-1, Abdul Wadud Dara for Rajshahi-5 and Dherendra Debnath Shambhu for Barguna-1, central organising secretary Misbahuddin Siraj and central working committee member Badaruddin Ahmad Kamran, defected in Sylhet mayoral polls and nine district leaders—asking them to reply in 15 working days.
Party leaders said that new feuds were developing in different areas while the assigned leaders were working to solve the feuds.
They said that internal feuds were nothing new in the party as AL was the biggest party of the country having large number of leaders in grassroots.
On Saturday, Obaidul Quader at a roadside gathering at Rajendra Bishwanath High School playground at Eliotganj in Cumilla on his way to Cox’s Bazar as part of his district visits ahead of the upcoming election, asked party leaders and activists not to create internal feuds.
Prior to beginning the roadside gathering, cops had to intervene to calm the situation as two local AL groups began throwing chairs to each other.
The latest victim of the AL internal feud was Bishwajit Haldar Nantu, 40, chairman of Jalla union council and president of Jalla union Awami League of Wazirpur in Barishal, who was shot to death by unidentified assailants Friday night.
Party sources said that local AL, clearly divided into two groups—one led by Barishal district AL general secretary Talukder Mohammad Yunus, also local lawmaker, and Wazirpur upazila parishad chairman Hafizur Rahman Iqbal—and Nantu was a follower of Hafizur.
Hafizur alleged that Nantu was a victim of the internal feud.
On September 17, three-hour clashes between followers of AL lawmaker Mamunur Rashid Kiranand and municipal mayor Akhter Hossain Faisal left 30 injured at Chowmuhani of Begumganj upazila in Noakhali.
On September 16, 13 AL leaders and activists were injured as a group of Chhatra League activists attacked a procession of Tanore unit AL president Golam Rabbani at Godagari upazila in Rajshahi.
Golam Rabbani, who is campaigning for the national election at Rajshahi-1 constituency, alleged that local AL lawmaker Omor Faruk Chowdhury was behind the attack to force him to refrain from participating in the election.
Media published several other incidents of internal clashes of AL and its associate organisations.
According to rights organisation Ain o Salish Kendra data, at least 103 incidents of internal clashes took place across the country between January and August leaving 14 killed and 1,360 injured.
Of the casualties, the highest 10 deaths and 961 injuries were recorded from 57 clashes between AL factions, one death and 11 injuries from three clashes between AL and Juba League, two injuries in one clash between AL and Bangladesh Chattra league, one death and 124 injuries in 10 clashes between Chhatra League and Juba League, one death and 87 injuries in 10 clashes between Juba League factions and one death and 175 injuries in 22 clashes between Chhatra League factions.
Obaidul Quader on September 14 at a press conference at the party president Sheikh Hasina’s Dhanmondi office said that AL had already taken steps to mitigate internal feuds before the general elections.
AL organising secretary Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury said that the organising secretaries were working to reduce party’s internal feuds in their respective divisions.
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