AL ticket for JS polls: 90 MPs may be left out over controversies
Around 90 of the Awami League lawmakers -- about a third of the 261 AL MPs -- may not get nomination in the next general election for their misdeeds and growing unpopularity, party sources said.
Corruption, nepotism, patronising party dissidents in local government polls, not staying in touch with constituents, and sidelining party leaders to favour his or her own group were key reasons for their becoming controversial.
According to the sources, more MPs from Chattogram, Barishal, and the northern region have lost party's favour than those from any other regions.
Young, popular and dedicated leaders would get party tickets in the next polls instead of the controversial ones. Former MPs with a long history of serving the party will also get nominations.
The sources said this time the ruling party will notify in advance the candidates who would be nominated regardless of any equations, so that it helps dissipate any possible commotion among other aspirants.
The party will make two lists of AL candidates for the upcoming polls. One will be used if the BNP does not join the polls and the other if the BNP does.
Seat-sharing with partners will also depend on the BNP's decision on the polls, sources said.
To make the polls look participatory, the ruling party will also prepare a list of 300 dummy candidates to be fielded if the BNP boycotts the polls, they said.
This will be done to avoid a repeat of the 2014 polls, in which 154 AL candidates got elected unopposed, and draw in more voters.
The sources claimed several surveys have been done by an intelligence agency on party grassroots and people to find which AL leaders were more likely to win in the next polls, and the reports suggested that about 90 incumbent MPs lost the support of the grassroots.
The reports said there were allegations against many AL MPs of nepotism and favouritism in nominating leaders for local government body polls and party committees, indulging in tender manipulations, giving people jobs in exchange for money, and fuelling intra-party feuds.
The reports named three alternative candidates in each constituency that included young and dedicated leaders and former MPs.
According to the sources, one of the surveys is still ongoing and another survey will be conducted after seeing which way the BNP goes.
The final survey report will be placed before the party's nomination board so that it can finalise the nominees.
In most constituencies, apart from the few from which party stalwarts are to run, rebel candidates are threats.
Many ticket aspirants are already making efforts to secure the nomination.
Party high-ups believe that if the BNP decides to take part in the polls, it could become very difficult for AL to ensure one AL candidate per constituency. Feuds between MPs and within the AL units are also a cause for concern.
In the 2018 polls, 4,037 people sought AL tickets and later the party had to deal with rebel candidates in almost all 300 constituencies.
In the last union parishad polls, the AL had a bitter experience while handling party dissidents. Of the 4,027 UP chairman posts up for grabs, the AL nominees got 2,172 and 1,778 went to independents, who were mostly AL rebels.
For almost 10 years, the party has failed to restrain dissidents from running against AL nominees, which ultimately weakened its grassroots units.
Asked about the controversial MPs, AL Joint General Secretary AFM Bahauddin Nasim told The Daily Star that they were aware of the decline of a section of lawmakers.
"We will replace them with young, honest, dedicated, and acceptable candidates …. Popularity will be the main criterion for getting the party nomination this time," he said.
In the 2018 polls, 56 MPs and ministers of the 10th Jatiya Sangsad did not get party tickets. Similarly, 49 lawmakers and ministers were not nominated in the 2014 polls.