AL infightings increase as general election, party confce near
As the schedules of Awami League's (AL) national conference and the country's 12th General Election are approaching the ruling party's field level leaders and activists are getting increasingly involved in internecine clashes.
Some of these recent incidents caused huge embarrassments to the leaders of the ruling party.
For one such incident, on September 12, Pankaj Debnath, MP, was removed from all the posts he held in AL.
Following another incident, AL served a show-cause notice on Dhaka South City General Secretary Humayun Kabir on Friday. The central leaders of the ruling party are trying in vain to reunite the party ahead of the party conference and the general election.
According to AL Office Secretary Biplab Barua, Pankaj Debnath, MP, from Barishal-4 (Hijla-Mehendiganj) was suspended for breaking party discipline.
AL sources said that clashes broke out frequently between two factions of AL in Mehendiganj upazila, claiming many lives during the last Union Parishad (UP) elections.
Upazila Awami League President Maidul Islam and General Secretary Municipal Mayor Kamal Khan are on one side of the two rival groups while the other side is led by Pankaj Debnath.
According to sources, on August 28, the two groups of Mehendiganj Upazila Awami League fought from time to time, often beating up and stabbing rivals.
As a result, six leaders and activists of Juba League and Chhatra League were severely injured and four of the injured leaders and activists were sent to Barishal for treatment.
On September 14, an incident of chair-throwing took place between the two groups of Netrokona district Awami League at a meeting organised for exchange of views in support of the candidate nominated for Zilla Parishad election. The incident took place at the Public Hall, Moktarpara in Netrokona district town.
At least 15 people, including district AL Joint General Secretary Noor Khan Mithu, were injured.
According to district AL sources, the fight broke out in the presence of senior leaders of the district.
Clashes took place between the followers of district AL Joint General Secretary Nazrul Islam Khan, also Municipal Mayor of the district town, and the followers of district AL Relief and Social Welfare Affairs Secretary Monwer Jahan Sujon.
The incident took place for not allowing any district committee secretary to speak but for the organising and joint general secretaries.
AL central committee served show cause notice on Humayun Kabir for creating chaos at Lalbagh Thana conference and using abusive words against party activists in the presence of AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader and other senior leaders.
He said, "You have to be careful and alert. Be moderate, not aggressive. You must speak in moderation in meetings and marches."
The AL General Secretary also said, "To save the spirit of the Liberation War of Bangladesh, Awami League must be saved. To save the democracy of Bangladesh, Awami League must be saved. If you want the development and achievement of Bangladesh, there is no alternative to Sheikh Hasina's honest and efficient leadership."
"General Election is not far away. So everyone should be united," Quader added.
Another incident of fighting among AL leaders and activists took place at Swhadhinata Chattar, Pabna district town on Saturday at a reception accorded to Deputy Speaker Shamsul Haque Tuku,MP, in which chairs were thrown freely leaving many injured on both the sides.
Later, the police brought the situation under control by charging batons.
Activities Chhatra League and other front organisations of AL also tarnished the party's image.
Obaidul Qader asked party leaders and activists not to be aggressive and speak in moderation at meetings.
AL Presidium Member AHM Khairuzzaman Liton told the Daily Observer, "The party will not take the responsibility of opportunists. Awami League will not tolerate misdeeds of opportunists."
Our party president Sheikh Hasina has done the hard work and has shaped the party into a good formation. So, the party will not tolerate misdeeds of some opportunists."
"Our party has already started stern actions against those wrongdoers to maintain discipline in the party in accordance with the directions of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. No one can escape," he added.