AL to discipline 23 rebel-backer MPs
The ruling Awami League has listed more than twenty of its lawmakers who will have to face disciplinary action for backing rebel candidates in Wednesday's municipality elections, say party insiders.
AL dissidents came out winners in 19 municipalities and the party found that 10 of its MPs directly patronised 11 of those winners.
Besides, another 13 MPs backed the rebels who couldn't secure victory but caused defeat of AL-nominated candidates or made the party's victory hard-earned.
AL President Sheikh Hasina, at a Gono Bhaban meeting with leaders who supervised the party's electioneering, said those MPs would not get party tickets in next parliamentary polls, according to insiders.
"Those who were against boat [election symbol of AL] don't deserve boat. The party will not consider nominating the MPs for the next national polls," an AL central leader, who was present at the meeting on Thursday night, quoted Hasina as saying.
The ruling party already suspended around 55 grassroots leaders for running for mayor ignoring party decision. Their fate would be decided at the AL central working committee meeting on January 9, sources said.
"No mercy for party rebels. If we go soft on them, it will encourage others to violate party decision," AL Organising Secretary Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury told The Daily Star.
Responding to a query, he said party-nominated candidates in at least 12 to 14 municipalities were defeated because of local MPs.
According to party sources, the dissident who won in Shibganj under Chapainawabganj was backed by local MP Golam Rabbani.
Rabbani, also Shibganj upazila AL president, was suspended from the party already on December 24 for going against the party decision.
In the polls, AL rebels won in Sonargaon under Narayanganj, Kalia municipality of Narail, Chuadanga Sadar and Jibannagar under Chuadanga, Chatmohor under Pabna, Barguna sadar, Birampur of Dinajpur Kulaura under Moulavibazar and Dhunat in Bogra.
They were backed respectively by local MPs Shamim Osman Kabirul Hoque Mukti, Ali Azgor Tagor, Mokbul Hossain, Dhirendro Debnath Shambhu, Shibli Sadique, Abdul Matin and Habibur Rahman.
Besides, AL rebel who won in Manikganj Sadar was backed by AL MP AM Naimur Rahman Durjoy. The area is not even under Durjoy's constituency Manikganj-1.
Other lawmakers who will have to face tough consequences are Abul Kalam Azad of Jamalpur-1, Mohibur Rahman Manik of Sunamganj-5, Ramesh Chandra Sen of Thakurgaon-1, Abdur Rouf of Kushtia-4, Abul Kalam Azad of Gaibandha-4, Shamsul Hoque Bhuiyan of Chandpur-4, Hasibur Rahman Swapon of Siranganj-6, Monoranjan Shil Gopal of Dinajpur-1, Mohibur Rahman Manik of Sunamganj-5, Didarul Alam of Chittagong-4, Fazley Karim Chowdhury of Chittagong-6, Abu Reza Muhammad Nezamuddin of Chittagong-15 and Golam Mostofa of Nilphamari-3, sources said.
In Wednesday's polls, the AL secured 168 mayor posts while BNP only 19. In the last municipality polls, AL-backed candidates had bagged 90 mayor posts while the BNP favourites 95.