AL alliance partners seek berth in poll-time govt
The Awami League alliance partners want to be part of the poll-time government, which is likely to be formed in mid-October ahead of the national elections at the end of December this year, as what they said is a matter of dignity for them. The ruling party is mulling over forming an 'all-party government' to run the state affairs during the election time as the 'caretaker government' system was annulled in 2011. Awami League formed a poll-time government in October 2013 before the January 5 elections inducting members of some of its alliance partners including Jatiya Party (Ershad), Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, Workers Party of Bangladesh, Jatiya Party (Manju), Bangladesher Samyabadi Dal.
Meanwhile, the Awami League led 14-party alliance spokesperson Mohammed Nasim, also presidium member of the ruling party, apprised Prime Minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina of the alliance partners' demand for inclusion in the next poll-time government, according to Awami League Organising Secretary Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury Nowfel.
On the other hand, Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad met the Prime Minister at her Jatiya Sangsad office on Sunday at the invitation of the PM and he sought more ministries in the poll-time government, according to sources. Ershad told Sheikh Hasina that the Jatiya Party will contest the elections in alliance with Awami League if BNP takes part but if the BNP does not participate, the Jatiya Party will contest in all the constituencies, the sources said.
The ruling Awami League has already categorically stated that they will not offer BNP to join the poll-time government like they did before the formation of the previous poll-time government as the party has no representation in parliament and the political situation is changed now. In the present cabinet, Jatiya Party (Ershad), Jatiya Party (Manju), Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (Inu), Workers Party are inducted.
Nowfel told the Daily Observer, "The demand of alliance partners centring poll-time government may be discussed in the meeting of the Awami League National election Steering Committee which is slated to be held on Saturday at Ganabhaban." He said as the Constitution does not specify the size of the Cabinet whether general or poll-time, there is scope to incorporate the alliance partners. However, it entirely rests on the discretion of the Prime Minister which is her Constitutional jurisdiction also, Nowfel said.
Contacted, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal faction chief Hasanul Haq Inu, also the Information Minister, said, "We will sit with the Prime Minister soon and then we will tell her about our opinion on the poll-time government. We don't talk about our demand publicly." However, who will be inducted in the poll-time government is exclusive jurisdiction of the Prime Minister, he said. Nazmul Haque Prodhan, General Secretary of another faction of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal and also a lawmaker, told this correspondent, "As we are separate parties now and a partner of the 14-party alliance, we want equal status in the poll-time government."
Bangladesh Tariqat Federation Chairman Syed Nazibul Bashar Maizbandary, MP, said in the meeting of the 14-party alliance, I have said that the poll-time government should be formed with the parties having representation in parliament. "We expect, the Prime Minister will form the poll-time government with the parties having parliamentary representations," he said. Workers Party President and Social Welfare Minister Rashed Khan Menon said the Prime Minister on Monday told them that she will sit with the 14-party soon, at that time they will share their opinion about the formation of the poll-time government.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who has the exclusive jurisdiction regarding the formation of the poll-time government, may form the next poll-time government in the same manner like the previous one, he said. Earlier, Awami League offered its archrival BNP, opposition in parliament at that time, five ministries in a bid to make the government acceptable to all. But the BNP rejected the offer as the Prime Minister came from the Awami League like what the then opposition Awami League did in 1996.