Despite repeated warning of expulsion for contesting polls without party ticket, the Awami League is plagued by what is now called ‘rebel candidates’.
Some senior AL leaders told UNB that the party is more concerned about the phenomenon of rebel candidates, than their rival party candidates in the upcoming elections.
As many as 79 AL candidates who failed to secure party nomination have filed their nomination as independent candidates.
A five-member team has already started working on the issue with joint general secretary Jahangir Kabir Nanak—the most prominent among those deprived of candidacy—leading the team.
The other four members are joint general secretary Abdur Rahman, and organising secretaries Ahmad Hossain, BM Mozammel Haque and AFM Bahauddin Nasim who also failed to get the party nominations to contest the upcoming general election slated for 30 December.
Though party president prime minister Sheikh Hasina announced they would be expelled forever and general secretary Obaidul Quader reiterated the dire consequences, a total of 79 AL men filed their nomination papers in several seats where their bids for the party nomination were rebuffed, in defiance of their own high command.
Talking to UNB, several senior leaders of Awami League have also expressed their deep concern as the rebel candidates and intra-party clash can be a major challenge and factor to the ruling party’s bid for upcoming election.
A total of 264 nomination papers were filed from the AL out of 300while 79 rebels also filed their nomination papers as rebel candidate paying no heed to the strict warnings of expulsion forever.
Around 47 new faces got nomination replacing many senior leaders and members of parliament from the party. Some leaders across the country expressed their dissatisfaction against the party-nominated candidates.
At a programme in the city on Tuesday, Obaidul Quader said they will try to convince till December 9. “AL is a big party, so too many problems exist here. But the rebels will face very harsh decision from the party if they disagree after discussion. There is no room for rebel candidates in the party and will be expelled from Awami League forever.”
Some party leaders who have been kept out of the election race will work for the party to end this problem as soon as possible, he added.
Seniors leaders of the party also stressed that the rebel candidate problem will be solved in a proper way as their presence can benefit opponent candidates.
Joint general secretary Abdur Rahman said their process of discussion is going on in the full swing. “We have started contacting local leaders who openly showed their anger at different programmes to party-nominated candidates in the first phase.”
Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader also said the team, led by Jahangir Kabir Nanak, will work until the election is over as the members of this team will not participate in the election and also monitor all the activities of elections and inform the central leaders about the latest situation.