Awami League President Sheikh Hasina in a letter yesterday requested the party “rebels” to withdraw their candidacy and join the AL nominees on the campaign trail instead.
The prime minister in another letter sent to those who were not nominated said she was sorry that the rigorous nomination process and the decision of parliamentary board did not let her give them the AL ticket.
The letters signed by Sheikh Hasina were e-mailed to different media organisations by AL Office Secretary Abdus Sobhan Golap yesterday.
According to AL sources, around 50 party leaders who were not nominated have become “rebels”.
Hasina's letter said the 11th national election is very important in establishing a sustainable democratic system and save the country from the “ferocious paw” of the BNP-Jamaat.
“That's why we have decided to participate in the election under the alliance comprising like-minded political parties.
“My special request.... you withdraw your candidacy in support of the grand alliance aspirants.... to ensure victory of the grand alliance. Your sacrifice, hard work and sincerity -- everything is in my consideration,” reads one of the letters.
She also wrote about her confidence in winning by a landslide.
“You will also be a part of that victory. I can tell for sure if the Awami League remains united no one has the organisational strength to defeat the boat symbol.”
Hasina said she expected leaders and activists at all levels of the party to join the campaign trail.
In the other letter, Hasina said the list of the party's nominees was finalised after taking into consideration the findings of several surveys of the party, opinions of the grassroots, and decisions of the parliamentary nomination board.
Over 4,000 AL leaders submitted nomination papers to get the party ticket.
“It was difficult to pick a single candidate from multiple nomination seekers,” she said.
She also termed the role of those who didn't get the tickets as praiseworthy for turning the Awami League into a strong party.
“I believe your loyalty to our loving motherland Bangladesh and for the beloved organisation Bangladesh Awami League will remain in the days to come.”
Talking to The Daily Star, AL Deputy Office Secretary Biplob Barua said the letters were being sent.
Meanwhile, AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader urged units in districts, cities, upazilas and municipalities to observe the Victory Day in a festive manner but with solemnity.