Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) has prepared a list analysing news published in 10 national dailies and online news portals and information collected by them.
According to ASK, a non-government organisation, a total of 439 incidents of political clashes took place in the country between January 2020 and July 2021. Of the incidents, 158 were internal conflicts of AL and its associate bodies. A total of 89 clashes took place in 2020 and the rest of 69 happened in the first seven months of this year.
These incidents left 32 people killed in 21 districts. Most of the victims are leaders and activists of the ruling party. Passersby were also killed during the clashes between two groups of the ruling party.
Among the victims, four were in Chattogram, three in Sirajganj, and two each in Jashore, Bogura, Patuakhali, Noakhali, Barishal and Narayanganj. One each was killed in Bagerhat, Chuadanga, Borguna, Narail, Lakshmipur, Manikganj, Narsingdi, Kushtia, Pabna, Faridpur, Munshiganj, Tangail and Cumilla districts.
According to central and local AL sources and analysis of newspaper reports, the main reasons for these conflicts are establishing supremacy, forming committees and control of contracts of the development projects
Many incidents of clash took place centring union parishad elections. Most of these clashes took place among ruling party men. According to central and local AL sources and analysis of newspaper reports, the main reasons for these conflicts are establishing supremacy, forming committees and control of contracts of the development projects.
AL presidium member and agriculture minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque told Prothom Alo that it is natural that there would be internal conflicts in a big political party. Many outsiders infiltrate the ruling party as it has been in power for a long time.
Blaming conflict of interest and tendency to establish supremacy for incidents of clash, the minister said the party often gets embarrassed due to such incidents.
Razzaque, however, said the government does not condone any incident of internal conflicts and take prompt organisational actions.
The Awami League is in power for 12 years. BNP and other opposition parties have remained somewhat inactive. As a result, most of the political conflicts are taking place within the ruling party. Recent incidents of Noakhali and Natore hogged the headline.
Abdul Quddus is a five-time lawmaker of Natore-4 (Boraigram-Gurudaspur) constituency. He cannot enter Natore town despite being a ruling party lawmaker and party president of the district unit. He alleged that Natore sadar constituency’s lawmaker and district AL’s general secretary Shafiqul Islam alias Shimul obstructs him from entering Natore. Other lawmakers and leaders of the district have taken either side.
Abdul Quddus broke down in tears while virtually speaking at a programme of the local Swecchasebak League on 27 July. His speech later went viral on social media where he was seen saying, “After becoming district Awami League president, I rented a house in Natore to stand by the local leaders and activists all the time. But the house owner has been threatened with pistol to evict me.”
The lawmaker also said he was given an office in Natore but could not enter the office.
In his 26-minute speech, the AL leader broke down in tears several times.
As Prothom Alo wanted to speak about the matter, Abdul Quddus said central leaders asked him to refrain from talking about it.
AL’s organising secretary SM Kamal Hossain, in charge of Rajshahi division, said misunderstanding exists among leaders over the formation of committees and the party is trying to resolve the matter.
Nakhali Basurhat pourashava mayor Abdul Quader Mirza came to newspaper headline by speaking about the corruption of party’s lawmakers and national election while announcing the electoral manifesto for pourashava polls on 31 December.
Quader Mirza is AL general secretary Obaidul Quader’s younger brother. He went on to make different allegations against some central leaders, ministers, Obaidul Quader and his wife Ishratunnesa Quader. As a result, the local AL got divided and over 12 incidents of the internal conflict took place in the area. A journalist and a local leader have been killed and many others were injured in the clashes. Abdul Quader Mirza hogged the headline again last Wednesday beating a Jatiya Party leader.
Noakhali district AL president AHM Khairul Anam Chowdhury told Prothom Alo that the party has had many achievements in 12 years but intra-party conflicts offset many of these.
He thinks that problems in Noakhali are about to end.
The internal feud between Chattogram city AL’s former president late Mohiuddin Chowdhury and general secretary AJM Nasir Uddin was much discussed once. That grouping still exists.
Chhatra League has two groups in different educational institutes of Chattogram and in Chittagong Univesity. One group follows AJM Nasir Uddin while the other follows Mohiuddin Chowdhury’s son deputy education minister Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury.
Followers of the two groups have clashed at least four times during the Covid period. Clashes took place twice in Chattogram Medical College and once in Chattogram University and Chattogram government college.
Many leaders of the ruling party think that conflict of interest has grown among the party leadership as it has been in power for a long time.
More than one senior party leaders, seeking anonymity, told Prothom Alo that the party leadership did not have to think much about opposition parties as the administration did that work on behalf of the party.
Moreover, a big section of the party leaders was busy dealing with tender business, land grabbing, establishing supremacy. All these practices led to internal conflict in the party fold.