AL doesn’t need companions: Quader

Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader
File photo

Bangladesh Awami League does not need to look for any other friends and companions as people are the companions and friends of AL, said the governing party’s General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Monday.

He was talking to the media after paying homage to martyr Dr Milon, marking Shaheed Dr Milon Day today, 27 November.

On this day in 1990, physician Shamsul Alam Khan Milon was shot to death at a stage of mass uprising against the autocratic government of HM Ershad in front of the Teacher-Student Center (TSC) on Dhaka University campus.

An emergency was declared in the country that day.

But the people and the students took to the streets breaking the emergency and curfew. At a stage, democracy was reinstalled in the country through the resignation of the autocratic government.

Since then, the day has been marked as Shaheed Dr Milon Day.

The governing party on Sunday announced the names of its selected candidates for 298 constituencies for the forthcoming 12th parliamentary elections. As per the list, the AL has floated candidates for a number of seats it shared with allies in the previous elections.

She (Sheikh Hasina) told everything clearly that those who want to become candidates as her guidelines, will be dummy candidates
Obaidul Quader, Awami League General Secretary

This has sparked discussions whether there will be any coalition led by the Awami League. Besides, the AL policy makers will remain lenient towards the rebel candidates.

Speaking about the issues, Obaidul Quader told newspersons that the party has to change strategies for changed times. The leader has adopted the strategy fitting for this time. The party leader takes decisions keeping the party’s condition and future in mind.

The AL general secretary stated that the Awami League does not need to look for any other friends and companions as people are its companions and friends.

Claiming that a pro-election mass upsurge has started, Obaidul Quader said the party headquarters at Bangabandhu Avenue was the selected place for collection and submission of the nomination form. But he could not enter the party office for two days at a stretch during the activities.

"This suggests how interested the people are about the election,” he insisted.

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The AL leader said they have not taken any new decision. Nomination board’s president (Sheikh Hasina) clarified everything in her speech to the prospective candidates. There is no bar to become a candidate following the guidelines Sheikh Hasina has announced, he added.

Obaidul Quader remarked that the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is trying to foil the election through carrying out subversive acts.

He said BNP looks for friends of evil acts. Failing in the movement they look for secret lanes.

Obaidul Quader hoped that the voter turnout would be better. “None can stop the mass upsurge in favour of elections through one off arsons.”

‘AL leaders can be independent candidates’

AL general secretary Obaidul Quader said the party leaders can contest in the forthcoming 12th general elections as independent candidates if they want to do so, reports news agency BSS.

“Many may have ill-efforts to make the polls questionable. For tactical reasons, the AL leaders have been given approval to become independent candidates,” he told a function at AL president’s Dhanmondi political office.

The function was arranged to handover letters to the AL leaders, who got the party’s nomination to contest in the upcoming general election.

Quader said there is nothing unclear in the speech that AL Nomination Board chairman and AL President Sheikh Hasina gave to the AL candidates at Ganabhaban on Sunday. 

She (Sheikh Hasina) told everything clearly that those who want to become candidates as her guidelines, will be dummy candidates, he said.

So, the AL general secretary continued, there is no bar to becoming candidates by following these guidelines given by the AL president.

Speaking about the AL-nominated candidates, Quader said the party tickets have been given to only those who have the ability to win in the polls.

The government is trying to hold a peaceful election, but the opposition party is obstructing it, he remarked.

Claiming that the ruling party never wants violence in the country, the AL general secretary said: “If a special party joins the polls, would the election be a participatory one? About 25-30 political parties will join the elections. If the BNP does not participate in it, many BNP leaders will be ready to join the polls.”

Claiming that the BNP is going to avoid the next polls, sensing that it will not be able to win, he said it would be clear within 30 November about those who are joining the elections from the BNP.

Quader said the Awami League did not announce candidates for two seats due to the party’s strategic reasons. The decision will be taken after looking at the advantage of the electoral alliance.

“There is an issue of adjustment-accommodation. The party will finalise those,” he added.