Awami League may take disciplinary actions against party's "rebel candidates" before the Chattogram City Corporation elections.
The party high command may take a decision within a day or two in this regard as the councillor candidates who are contesting in the CCC polls defying party decision did not step down despite repeated warning from central leaders.
The election will be held on January 27.
AL joint general secretary Mahbub-ul-Alam Hanif, while talking to journalists in the port city on Wednesday, said disciplinary actions will be taken against the "rebel" candidates in a day or two.
On the very day in Dhaka, AL general secretary Obaidul Quader also told journalists that the party is going to take tough action against the rebel candidates in CCC.
Earlier on January 15, AL organising secretary in Chattogram division Ahmad Hossain in a views-exchange with party leaders and activists expressed similar sentiments.
According to AL sources, the party high command is planning to send a clear massage to others throughout the country through CCC polls.
An AL leader, preferring anonymity, said the high command also has information that some local AL leaders are backing the "rebels". They fear this intra-party rivalry might end up affecting the polls result.
Besides, the central leaders are also worried over the violence that took place in different areas of the city between the activists of pro-AL councillor candidates, said another AL leader, adding that BNP candidates might capitalise the division within their party.
In the 41 general wards of CCC, a total of 14 pro-AL councillor candidates who won in the last CCC polls failed to get party support this time. Of them, 12 filed nominations to vie for polls.
Of the 12 candidates, Tarek Solaiman Selim, a councillor candidate for ward-31 (Alkaran), died on January 18 and the returning officer has cancelled all the polling activities for the seat there. So, elections are going to be held for 40 councillor seats in CCC general wards along with14 reserved seats for women and the mayoral post.
Contacted, AL Chattogram city unit general secretary AJM Nasir Uddin said, "There is no scope for defying party decision if anyone wants to stay in the party."
Nasir, also member secretary of AL committee for CCC polls management and former mayor, said, "We have clearly mentioned the names of those the party will support in this election. Others have been asked to step down and we have given them time to do so. If they do not comply, disciplinary action will be taken against them."
Meanwhile, the pro-AL councillor candidates, who decided to vie for polls defying party decision, argued that they should not be termed "rebel" as the election for the councillor seat is non partisan.
While talking to The Daily Star they also said they were contesting in the polls to meet the people's expectations.
Abul Fazal Kabir Ahmed Manik, a councillor candidate for ward-14 (Lalkhanbazar), said, "I am contesting as people want me to do so. I have been elected councillor several times and worked for the ward's development. That's why locals want me to run."
Asked why he defied the party decision, Manik said he did not defy party decision as councillor race is non partisan and there is no scope for any party to nominate a candidate.
Echoing the same, Saber Ahmed, a councillor candidate for ward-32 (Saraipara), said, "This local government polls will not impact the government that much so the party should be liberal and give us an opportunity to prove our popularity among voters."
Asked, whether BNP backed candidates would utilise this intra-party rivalry, Saber said voters will elect the candidate for councillor seats not the party.
"I won as councilor in the previous polls where a number of pro-AL and BNP candidates vied," he said.