PM Hasina urges Awami League leaders to rally behind whoever the party picks

The prime minister also slammed those who openly criticised lawmakers or local leaders from their own party.

Ashik Abdullah Apu

Ashik Abdullah Apu

The Daily Star


Photo of Awami League President Sheikh Hasina. PHOTO: THE DAILY STAR

August 7, 2023

DHAKA – Awami League President Sheikh Hasina yesterday made the leaders from all tiers of her party vow that they would forget the divisions and campaign for those who get the party’s nomination in the coming national election.

“Whoever we nominate — no matter how good or bad, blind or lame — you have to promise that you will work for them,” Hasina told the party’s special extended meeting at the Gono Bhaban.

At that, the nearly 5,000 AL leaders in attendance raised their hand to commit.

“When we give nominations, we follow certain rules. I do not sit idle at home. I work to build the country all day. I also do the work of the party. We conduct surveys every six months on who is in what state, the status of our lawmakers or the status of our elected representatives … We take these into account when we announce nominations.

“After the nominations are announced, some people think to themselves, ‘Since the party has not nominated me, I should work against the person who got the nomination. The party will win the rest of the [parliament] seats…’ In doing this, you will make all [of the party] lose.”

The prime minister then slammed those who openly criticise lawmakers or local leaders from their own party, multiple AL leaders who attended the meeting told this correspondent.

“By trying to defame others, you actually defame your party, and the boat [AL electoral symbol] ends up getting fewer votes.”

Addressing the meeting that went on from 10:30am to 6:00pm, she spoke of her plans to sit with the district-level leaders in phases to hear about local politics.

The Gono Bhaban premises were abuzz as the meeting resembled a reunion of the leaders.

They exchanged greetings, chatted among themselves and took selfies in a festive mood. The leaders were excited as they got the chance to speak in front of the AL president.

When the local leaders spoke, Kanai Lal Biswas, acting general secretary of Pirojpur district AL, expressed his desire to be the fully fledged general secretary.

Hasina replied that everyone who were in “acting” positions should be considered fully entitled to the posts.

At least 43 AL different district-, upazila-, and thana-level leaders speke at the event, and many of them talked about their alienation from lawmakers.

Some of them urged the top leadership to nominate those who are popular in their constituency.

Dinajpur AL General Secretary Altafuzzman Mita said, “A lawmaker from Dinajpur is openly spreading rumours about the other leaders of our district. It is not desirable. We do not want bad blood between us and the parliament member. We want to work in unison.”

Jamalpur AL General Secretary Bijan Kumar Das said, “Many MPs are alienated from the people. After winning the election, they lose touch with the people and activists. That is why I demand that popular leaders get nominated in the next election.”

Lalmonirhat AL General Secretary Matiar Rahman said, “Jatiya Party Chairman GM Quader is an MP from Lalmonirhat-3. There is development across the whole country. But not in that area. In the next election, I demand putting an AL candidate against the Jatiya Party candidate.”

At the meeting, Hasina asked the party men to remain alert about the BNP-Jamaat’s possible subversive activities.

She instructed the leaders to woo voters and work for the country.

The next election will be fair, she said, directing the leaders to go to people’s doorsteps and publicise the development achieved by the AL government in the last 14 and a half years.

AL central working committee and advisory council members, MPs, presidents and general secretaries of district committees, municipal and upazila units, metropolitan cities, district and upazila parishad chairman, mayors, presidents and general secretaries of AL associate organisations were present in the meeting.

The AL holds such meetings months ahead of every general election.

scroll to top