Ruling Awami League may face a great crisis over sharing of parliamentary seats with its alliance partners in the next general elections due in December this year.
AL sources say the party is going to face a tough task to deal with sharing of parliamentary seats as its partners are seeking seats beyond AL’s expection.The issue of seat sharing came as Jatiya Party chairman HM Ershad at a programme on Sunday said his party can join the AL alliance if it gets 70 seats.
Some AL insiders, however, say 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.
She (Sheikh Hasina) will consider logical demand of the partners to avert any controversy in the alliance ahead of the next parliamentary polls, a party leader said.
“The issue of seat sharing will be settled through discussions with the alliance partners,” AL general secretary Obaidul Quader said.
He also said the partners should not demand seats at their wills.
Asked about forging alliance with the JP, the AL spokesperson said, “I cannot say anything about it right now.”An AL insider said everything depends on the decision of BNP-led alliance, which boycotted the last parliamentary polls as its demand for poll-time non-party administration was not accepted.
If the BNP-led alliance participates in the next polls, the AL may forge a grand alliance and include JP (Ershad) in it, he added.
Small partners of the AL-led 14-party alliance are demanding seats which are now adorned with the incumbent ruling party lawmakers, sources said.
AL presidium member Mosharraf Hossain is an incumbent MP from Chittagong-1 but Samyabadi Dal general secretary Dilip Barua is seeking the nomination from that constituency.
Samyabadi Dal is seeking six seats in different areas.
Communist Kendra wants nomination to contest from Gopalganj and Tangail while Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal from Sirajganj, Rangpur, Gaibandha, Netrakona and Mymensingh.
The BSD is seeking eight seats.
Alliance sources said JSD is seeking seats from Kushtia, Noakhali, Jessore, Sirajganj, Chittagong, Gaibandha, Mymensingh, Rangpur, Narsingdi and Manikganj.
Workers Party of Bangladesh has been working in Rajshahi, Thakurgaon, Narail, Sathkhira, Barisal and Dhaka with a hope to get nomination from these areas.
Both Workers Party and JSD demand that the alliance provide them with 30 parliamentary seats each.
Leaders of the partners claim that popularity and organisational capacity of the AL-led alliance have increased as it has been in office for the last nine years.
Some top leaders of the alliance partners said they will ask the AL to give them more seats in the next parliamentary elections.
Record shows six lawmakers from WP, five from JSD, two each from JP (Manju) and Bangladesh Tarikat Federation were elected in the last parliamentary polls.
“We will seek more than 30 seats. We have already directed our possible candidates to conduct polls campaign,” WP general secretary Fazle Hosain Badsha told the daily sun.
JSD faction president Sharif Nurul Ambia said they have already directed the intending party candidates to start election campaign in their areas.
“We will seek 20 to 30 parliamentary seats from the alliance,” he added.
Tarikat Federation chairman Nazibal Bashar Maizbhandari said they will ask the alliance for 25 to 30 seats.
JP (Manju) chairman Anwar Hossain Manju said they will seek at least 20 seats.
Gana-Azadi League president SK Shikder said they will also seek nine seats from the Northern part of the country.
Ganatantri Party general secretary Shahadat Hossain said they want 10 seats.