AL alliance partners still confused about their role in JS
The 14-party alliance partners are still confused about their role in the 11th parliament though the first session began on January 30.
The coalition members lack sense of direction as they could not reconcile with the ruling Awami League as yet on whether they will act as the treasury bench members or the opposition members in the House following their non-induction in the government.
Talking with the 14-party leaders, it is learnt that the AL and the alliance partners are silent over the issue, and the confusion may be removed in the next session.
The confusion originated when the combine partners were not inducted in the present government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina following the landslide victory of AL and debacle of BNP in the December 30 JS Polls.
Later, the alliance members were plunged into total confusion when the AL wanted to see them in the opposition bench in the parliament as they contested the last elections jointly.
It is to be noted that Jatiya party led by HM Ershad which contested the last polls in alliance with AL has become opposition in parliament as the BNP, Jatiya Oikyafront decided that their MPs-elect will not take oath
Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader on January 17 said if the 14-party allies become opposition in parliament, it will be better for the government and the allies too. He said many of the alliance partners decided to become opposition in the parliament.
Quader said the grand alliance is a unity forged to participate in elections while the 14-party is a political alliance which will prevail and there's no chance of collapse.
A day before the JS's first session, 14-party coalition spokesperson and AL Presidium Member Mohammed Nasim said the alliance partners will act as the opposition by criticizing the government mistakes but they will not sit in the bench designated for opposition.
On February 2, the 14-party alliance partners joined the tea party hosted by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Contacted, 14-party coalition leader and Workers Party of Bangladesh General Secretary Fazle Hossain Badsha told The Daily Observer, "We are not in the treasury bench in the parliament nor in the opposition bench now.
"The role of the alliance partners in the parliament will not be cleared up in the first session." He hoped that the confusion may be ended in the next session of parliament.
Badsha said all of the coalition members including AL are silent over the issue now. He said, "For the cause of building a non-communal Bangladesh for which we have forged the 14-party alliance, we have no problem to become opposition in parliament, if needed."
While talking with this correspondent, Shirin Akter, General Secretary of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal faction led by Inu, said that they sit in the treasury bench as they contested elections with the ruling AL's poll symbol 'boat' and their alliance with the ruling party is not broken.
She said it is more importance to play effective role in the parliament than sitting in the opposition bench. "We have never given an inch regarding raising our voices for truth and we won't budge an inch."
On the ruling AL's desire to see 14-party alliance partners in the opposition, a key leader of the coalition sarcastically said, "It is good. What is the loss here?"
Dr Shantanu Majumder, Professor of political science at Dhaka University, told The Daily Observer, "In my evaluation of the 14-party alliance role in JS, I say it is total confusion."
The political scientist said after 1973, the AL this time has formed government without inducting any alliance partner in the cabinet. The ruling party's reason behind this might be that the alliance partners who have lawmakers should be satisfied with the win in JS elections as the AL gave them its poll symbol 'boat'.
Prof Shantanu Majumder said, "The AL is negotiating with the 14-party members to see them in the opposition bench for the purpose of increasing the number of opposition members in the JS and making the parliament effective one.
"However, it has some costing if the alliance partners have dissatisfaction over the AL's stance as the leaders like Rashed Khan Menon, Hasanul Haq Inu have face value in national level and press covers what they say."
On the other hand, it is a question whether they could criticize the AL in the parliament after making alliance with them and contesting the elections jointly.