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Sunday, September 28, 2014, Ashwin 13, 1421, Zilhajj 2, 1435 Hijr

?Beware? of BNP defectors, AL leaders warn
Anaet Shawon
Publish Date : 2014-09-28,  Publish Time : 00:00,  View Count : 47
Dissident leaders and activists of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) are reportedly joining Awami League, seeking a berth in the ruling party, which looks set to rule the country at least until 2019, insiders in both the parties say.
"Yes, some birds are flying out and looking for a new nest," one BNP insider said, requesting not to be named.
AL sources said many BNP defectors have joined the ruling party or are waiting to follow suit - which, however, has set off some "fear and unease" among many AL leaders and policymakers who cautioned against such moves.
"We need to keep an eye (on BNP men) before allowing them in the AL because there may be spies and conspirators among the turncoats," one AL leader told The Daily Observer. "The moves can be part of a BNP strategy to harm the AL from within," he said.
"We are consciously thinking about the renegade BNP grassroots leaders and activists who want to join the ruling party. The party (AL) high command has also given directives to be aware of those gate-crashers," he said.
But the high command or the central leadership is not against allowing BNP dissidents harbour in the AL, other party insiders said.
This was in line with previous occasions of leaders and workers of BNP and other parties joining AL before the January 5 election, they said.
Not only BNP, but hordes of leaders and workers of Jamaat-e-Islami have also joined AL since last year, insiders said.
But, AL Joint General Secretary Mahbub-Ul Alam Hanif and Organising Secretary Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury both denied that Jamaatis were making inroads into the Awami League. "No Jamaat men joined AL but few of them supported the local AL candidates (in January) election," Hanif told The Daily Observer.
"However, BNP men who are educated, honest and not involved in corruption and terrorism can join the AL," he added.
Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury said, "Those BNP men who face no major allegations and believe in the spirit of the Liberation War, they are welcome to take part in AL politics."
"But the BNP defectors must come under the AL scanner first (to verify their past activities and personal details)," he told The Daily Observer.
Meanwhile, a joint meeting of AL leaders and policy planners held on September 20 to discuss the sensitive issue of BNP grassroots people opting to join the ruling party, ended without any decision.

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