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Intraparty feud soars at AL grassroots over UZ polls

Published : 16 May 2024 10:48 PM

The internal feud among the grassroots leaders and activists of the ruling Bangladesh Awami League has deepened over the upcoming the second-phase elections to 161 Upazila Parishads slated for May 21.

Incidents of violence, chasing and counter chasing are taking place in different parts of the country as influential AL leaders, including lawmakers and ministers, are fielding their kin for post of UZ chairman across the country. 

At least one person was killed in Gopalganj on May 14 n a post-election violence. 

Protesting the killing, locals, including members of AL, Juba League and Chhatra League of the district, staged demonstrations and blocked the road at Chandradighalia Bazar area, leaving several hundred vehicles stranded on the road.  

Demanding the arrest and punishment of the killers, the protesters chanted slogans against the chairman-elect Kamruzzaman. 

Most of the 161 upazilas are witnessing such situation ahead of the polls. AL Leaders and activists in different upazilas are lashing tongues against each other. As result, divisions in the grassroots are being created and unpleasant incidents are taking place almost every day. 

The situation seems to have worsened as the offspring and kin of the ministers and lawmakers are contesting the polls defying the 

directives of the part top brass. The MPs or ministers are directly or silently taking side to their own candidates. 

In Companiganj of Noakhali, AL upazila unit president Abdul Quader Mirza on Tuesday termed his younger brother Shahadat Hossain a blacksheep for contesting the polls against him. Both Quader Mirza and Shahadat are brothers of AL general secretary Obaidul Quader. His statement was aired on social sites.

Earlier, the ruling party decided not to field any candidate with the ‘Boat’ symbol and directed the MPs and ministers not field their offspring and kin to contest the UZ polls. 

Defying the directives of the party high command, many kin and offspring contested the first-phase UZ polls and came out victorious as the central body did not take any action for breaching the party discipline.

Locals allege that as the central body has refrained from taking organisational actions against the discipline violators, it has helped rising the feud.

AL general secretary Obaidul Quader recently said actions would be taken against those who will breach party discipline.

“The leaders who are assigned by the party (Awami League) will continue to try to discourage the family members of the ministers and MPs who want to be candidates in the upazila elections,” he said.

As per the poll schedule, elections to 161 upazilas will be held on May 21. By this time, some 21 aspirants including seven candidates for the post of chairman have been elected unopposed. 

It is learnt that the internal feud at Kaliganj and Adamdighi of Lalmonirhat reached at the peak. Former minister and incumbent MP Nuruzzaman’s son Rakibuzzaman and his brother Mahbubuzzaman are contesting at Kaliganj. The rivalry of this family came to the fore during the last parliamentary polls.

Centring the UZ polls, both the uncle and nephew have been locked in debates and lashing tongues against each other. The leaders and activists of the upazila have been divided into two camps. An unhealthy environment is prevailing there. 

The same kind of situation is prevailing at Adamdighi upazila due to the toxic relation between AL upazila unit general secretary Rafiqul Alam, a loyal to former minister and incumbent chairman Imrul Qayes. 

Noyeem Hassan Zoader, nephew of local MP Solaiman Haque Zoarder, is contesting Chuadanga Sadar Upazila Parishad polls. Asadul Haque Biswas, vice president of the AL district unit, is his rival. Violent clashes are often taking place among the supporters of the both contestants.  

Supporters of Shikder Abdul Hannan and AKM Foyzul Haque locked in clashes at Lohaghora Upazila recently. At least five people were injured and two shops were vandalized during the clash. 

At Biswambharpur upazila in Sunamganj, supporters of rival candidates locked in clashes on Saturday. The incident left several people injured. District unit JL convener Ranjit Chowdhury and AL Biswambharpur unit former general secretary Dilip Kumar are contesting for the post of chairman.