AL eyes minimizing internal feuds

Logo of Awami League

Ruling Awami League has decided to hold councils of outdated district and upazila committees to bridge the fissure created among the party’s grassroots. The party also decided to announce full-fledged committees in the organisational units which held councils but did not form full-fledged committees.

Awami League’s central leaders hold meetings with leaders and lawmakers of Rangpur and Chattogram division on Saturday. The AL central body is scheduled to hold a meeting with Khulna division on 4 April and Mymensingh division on 21 April. The meetings with other divisions will be held after Eid ul Fitr.

Sources said two issues—AL’s internal conflict and the party’s decision not to support any candidate in upazila election—were discussed most during two meetings. Following the meetings, the party high-ups think that internal conflict will decrease to some extent if councils can be held and full-fledged committees formed.

Meanwhile, the grassroots of the party wanted the central leaders to support a single candidate in the upazila election where there would be no party symbol. But AL central leadership is of the view that supporting a single candidate from the party would not be appropriate. But the party would not interfere if the party’s local leadership can field a single candidate.

Earlier, at the beginning of Ramadan, AL central leaders held meetings with leaders of associate bodies. That meeting also suggested holding councils in organizational units where tenure of committees had expired.  

AL began its councils of grassroots units before the party’s central council in 2019 but could not complete the process in all districts and upazilas before December 2022. Tenure of many committees formed at that time has already expired. The party now eyes to restructure the party by holding councils afresh.

The ruling party had started councils across the country at the beginning of last year but had to halt the process due to the movement of opposition parties. The party shifted its focus on keeping the opposition parties at bay by taking to the streets at that time. AL ensured a landslide victory for the party in the 12th general election held amid boycott by BNP and other opposition parties. As opposition parties are yet to focus on waging street movement, AL leadership considers this as the best time to reorganise the party.

AL has a total of 78 organisational districts. Of these units, councils did not take place in nine units including Chandpur and Chattogram city. The issue was discussed during the meeting of leaders of the Chattogram division on Sunday.

Also, tenure of the committees in the districts where the council was held has expired before the formation of the full committee. Among these are ward and thana units of Dhaka city north and south organisational districts. A three-member district committee was announced in Brahmanbaria. The general secretary of that committee has passed away, yet the district did not get a full committee.

The party sources said, AL’s central body wants to hold councils of the expired committees in city, district, upazila, thana and ward levels across the country within 31 December. The party also set a target to announce full-fledged committees within 31 March next year. To implement this plan, AL will have to start preparation for council immediately after Eid. Holding council meetings during upazila election will be tough but full-fledged committees can be announced this time. Date for councils of associate organisations might be declared after the upazila election.

AL joint secretary general Mahbub Ul Alam Hanif told Prothom Alo that councils for expired committees of the Chattogram division will be held within June. The units will also get full-fledged committees by this time.

About the internal feuds at the party’s grassroots, Hanif said AL is a big party so it is normal that there would be some competition for the post.
It is the central body’s responsibility to bridge the gap among the conflicting groups of the party, he added.