Partners of the ruling 14-party alliance are asking Awami League to immediately sit with them to reach a consensus on sharing of parliamentary seats before the announcement of election schedule.
They are pressing the AL for seat sharing so that their candidates can take adequate preparations for the upcoming polls.If the seat sharing issue is finalised within the quickest possible time, it will help their candidates woo voters in their respective areas, they said.
They said immediate finalisation of seat sharing issue will put a kind of pressure on Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) candidates, who are busy seeking release of their party chairperson Khaleda Zia.
Talking to the daily sun, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (faction) president Sharif Nurul Ambia said they have already placed the demand before the ruling alliance to finalise the seat sharing issue soon.
“If the issue is settled soon, it will help our candidates woo voters in their respective areas,” Ambia said.
As the next national election is scheduled to be held only after three months, the ruling Awami League is taking time to finalise the issue, which is putting the alliance partners in a state of discomfort, insiders of the 14-party alliance said.
The ruling party delays any discussion about the issue as the election schedule is yet to be announced and BNP’s participation in the polls is yet to be confirmed, sources said.If BNP participates in the elections, then the ruling party will form grand alliance including Jatiya Party. Otherwise, AL will take part in the polls as incumbent 14-party alliance, party insider said.
AL general secretary Obaidul Quader said his party has already started preparations for the next general election and is thinking of giving 65 to 70 seats to the partners.
“Moreover, the Awami League will finalise its sphere of alliance at the end of September after discussions with Jatiya Party, 14-party alliance and some other political parties,” he said.
Earlier, Quader hinted that AL will share 60-70 seats with its partners without specifying 14-party alliance or grand alliance.
The issue of seat sharing came to the fore as Jatiya Party chairman HM Ershad at a recent programme said his party can join the AL-led alliance if it gets 70 seats.
Meantime, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (faction) general secretary Shirin Akter at a 14-party meeting raised the issue of seat sharing so that alliance candidates can get enough time for election campaign before the 11th parliamentary polls to be held in December this year.
Some AL insiders, however, said the party high-ups are least bothered about seat sharing as they believe Prime Minister and AL president Sheikh Hasina will effectively deal with the matter considering logical demand of the partners to avert any controversy.
Besides, Bangladesh National Alliance (BNA) led by Trinamul BNP chairman Nazmul Huda demanded 50 parliamentary seats to participate in the upcoming national polls.
Talking to the daily sun, at least five alliance leaders urged the ruling party to take steps for early seat sharing so that their party candidates can take elaborate preparations.
Awami League presidium member Faruk Khan said they are taking election preparation keeping in mind that BNP would participate in the polls.
“We will definitely participate in the upcoming parliamentary polls as a 14-party combine or grand alliance. But it will take more time to settle the issue,” Faruk said, adding that his party must share seats with alliance partners but it will not share the confirmed seats of the party.
Besides, AL joint general secretary Mahbub-ul-Alam Hanif said that the list of Awami League candidates is nearly finalised depending on the information of grass roots and their opinion.