The expulsion of rebel candidates seems to work little for Awami League to keep the party leaders away from vying in the municipal polls independently as their number is growing in the local body elections.
The ruling party is expelling those party leaders who are either contesting the municipal polls or getting involved in campaign for rebel candidates defying its directives.It has taken the stern stance in a bid to restore organisational discipline as many are taking part in the elections to establish their supremacy at the grassroots level, capitalising on the weakness of the opposition parties.
Along with AL candidates, a good number of rebels were also elected as mayor in the three phases of local body polls that were already held.
The ruling party has been implementing its tough stance against rebels which benefited its contestants in the first two phases of the municipal polls but the number of rebels increased in the third phase.
Besides, the number of rebel aspirants in the fourth-phase polls slated for February 14 is still high, insiders say.
Nearly two dozens dissidents are there in the mayoral race, they say.
Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader repeatedly warned party leaders and activists against violating the organisational discipline as its stance is very tough against rebels.“The party’s stance is very clear against rebels. They’ll be ousted from the party and deprived of party posts in the future for breaching the organisational discipline,” he said.
“The patrons will also have to face the music for inciting rebels to participate in the elections defying the party chief’s directives. The patrons won’t be spared no matter whether they’re ministers or lawmakers,” Quader added. According to party sources, over 100 AL leaders and workers, including rebel runners and their supporters, have so far been expelled from the party for their engagement in the municipal polls violating the party discipline.
Two out of 10 party rebels in eight municipalities came out victorious as mayor in the first-phase polls held on December 28 while five out of 20 won the mayoral race in 16 municipalities in the second-phase elections held on January 14.
Fourteen 14 AL dissidents were elected mayors after at least 29 participated in the third-phase elections held on January 30.
Insiders said almost all the rebels along with their supporters have already been expelled.
Lists of those are yet to be ousted have been sent to the high-ups for taking action against them, they said.
Awami League Presidium member Faruk Khan told the Daily Sun that the tough stance against the violators of the party’s decisions will continue not only for municipal polls but also for all upcoming elections.
According to the party sources, many grassroots leaders, including incumbent mayors, have already been expelled from the party for breaching party’s decisions or engaging in campaign against party-backed candidates.
Ranisangkail upazila Jubo League President and incumbent Mayor Alamgir Sarkar, municipality AL General Secretary Rafiul Islam and other leaders Sadhan Basak, Istekhar Alam and Rukunul Islam Dollar were sacked from the party in Thakurgaon.
Even the district AL called for ousting associate body leaders Abdul Khaleque and Nowroz Kawsar.
Nouhata municipality AL President Abdul Bari in Rajshahi, Godagari municipality AL General Secretary Rabiul Alam, Organising Secretary MA Shaheen, party leaders Tariqul Islam Hoda, Monirul Islam Babu and Mojibur Rahman faced the music.
Action was taken against Jubo League leader Rezaul Karim Swapon in Sadar and Patgram AL General Secretary Kazi Asaduzzaman Asad in Lalmonirhat.
SM Kaiyum in Narsingdi, Alamgir Sheikh in Sadar and Sheikh Nazrul in Goalanda of Rajbari, Barishal’s Banaripara upazila AL Organising Secretary Ziaul Haque Mintu and four others got them expelled from the party.
The party also took action against immediate past Mayor and AL President of Birganj in Dinajpur Mosharraf Hossain Babul, Belkuchi upazila parishad Chairman and AL leader Nurul Islam Sajedul and five other leaders, including Azizul Haque, Hazrat Ali, Shahjahan Ali Pramanik, Badar Uddin Mandal and Habibur Rahman Habib, in Belkuchi of Sirajganj and Gurudaspur municipality AL General Secretary Ariful Islam.
Aminul Islam Rabel in Golapganj and Abdul Ahad in Jakiganj of Sylhet, outgoing Mayor of Barguna Shahadat Hossain, immediate past Mayor of Kulaura Shafiul Alam Yunus in Moulvibazar, Fulbaria AL General Secretary Golam Mostafa, Narail town AL Organising Secretary Sardar Alamgir Hossain and outgoing Mayor Fakir Mushfiqur Rahman Liton were also sacked.
Others who were expelled include Faridpur Krishak League Joint General Secretary Liton Mridha, Jhenaidah town AL Joint General Secretary Toyabur Rahman, incumbent Mayor of Arani municipality and AL Organising Secretary of Arani Muktar Ali and three others -- Khoybor Hossain Mawla of Sundarganj in Gaibandha, Bogura’s Sariakandi upazila AL General Secretary Alamgir Shahi Sumon, Sramik League President of Kamalganj in Moulvibazar Helal Mia, Kamalganj upazila Jubo League Assistant Secretary Anwar Hossain and Swechchhasebak League Convener Kalia in Narail.
Talking to the Daily Sun, AL Organising Secretary SM Kamal Hossain said the number of rebels has seen a rise as they think that the government will not be changed through this election. “However, we won’t spare any rebel. They won’t get party posts in the further,” he said, adding that action will be taken against their patrons as well.