AL working to expand alliance
With potential rivals in the upcoming elections trying to form bigger alliances and unity, the Awami League has started working on its backup plan of expanding the 14-party combine.
It has been contacting a number of religion-based political parties and left-leaning parties. The process, however, is expected to gain momentum after the election schedule is announced, party leaders said.
They said if the BNP ran, then the AL-led alliance would bring all its like-minded parties under a platform to contest the polls.
“We have talked with Nazmul Huda, Islamic Front and some other political parties. If BNP participates in the election, we will contest the election as a grand alliance and if the BNP does not participate in the election then the Awami League led-14 party will contest election alone,” Mohammad Nasim, coordinator of the 14-party alliance, told The Daily Star.
The 14-party has announced that it would run in the polls under the alliance platform. Jatiya Party chief HM Ershad and his wife Rowshan Ershad also said they would stay with the AL.
Former BNP minister Nazmul Huda-led Bangladesh National Alliance will be with the AL alliance.
Islamic Front president Syed Bahadur Shah yesterday told The Daily Star that they have formally announced that they would join the polls as a component of the AL-led grand alliance.
“After talking with the Awami League leaders, we have made the announcement today [Yesterday] that we will contest election under the alliance banner,” he said.
The AL is in touch with Islami Oikya Jote, led by Abu Hasanat, son of Fazlul Haque Amini. The AL also wants to get Zaker Party under its umbrella.
On Saturday, a new alliance named “Islamic Democratic Alliance” (IDA) was formed, comprising 15 Islamist and like-minded political parties and organisations, to support 14-party during the polls.
Bangladesh Islami Oikya Jote Chairman Al-Hajj Misbahur Rahman Chowdhury has been named the chairman of the newly-formed alliance while lawmaker and former secretary general of Bangladesh Tarikat Federation MA Awal is its co-chairman.
Mohammad Nurul Islam Khan, chairman of Gonotantrik Islamic Movement, is the secretary general of the alliance.
“We are talking to many political parties but we are yet to make any conclusive decision. I think after the announcement of election schedule, the final shape of the grand alliance will be revealed,” Muhammad Faruk Khan, presidium member of the Awami League, told The Daily Star.
Krishak Sramik Janata League President Kader Siddique, who once tilted towards B Chowdhury and Kamal Hossain, is maintaining regular contacts with AL leaders.
“We are observing the situation. We are yet to decide. We will decide considering the welfare of the country,” Habibur Rahman Talukdar, general secretary of Krishak Sramik Janata League, told The Daily Star.
Bangladesh Nationalist Front (BNF) President SM Abul Kalam Azad also expressed his interest in staying with the AL alliance.
On Saturday, Juktofront, comprised of Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) and Nagorik Oikya, forged unity with Dr Kamal Hossain's Jatiya Oikya Prokriya. They said they would work together for their demand for election under a non-partisan interim government. The BNP is likely to form an alliance with them.
The Left Democratic Alliance, a newly formed platform of eight left-leaning parties, also raised the demand for holding of the parliamentary election under a non-partisan administration.