AL focuses on polls, tackling demos
The ruling Awami League is reorganising itself to be in a stronger position ahead of the next parliamentary polls and weighing options for expanding its electoral alliance.
It is also gearing up for tackling any possible movements over Election Commission's formation and polls-time neutral government which have been demanded by several parties.
AL insiders say 2022 will be the party's "year of conferences" as it aims to increase organisational strength and prepare its leaders and activists for the election through those programmes.
In the build-up to the polls, slated for next year, the party has already started holding conferences at the grassroots levels. It wants to wrap those up before its 22nd national council in December when the current central committee's tenure expires, they said.
"We will go for a revamp of the party -- from the central to the grassroots -- by the end of this year. After finishing all conferences, we want to take part in the polls as a stronger and more organised party," AL Joint General Secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif told The Daily Star.
The party has also set its sights on upcoming upazila and city corporation polls after facing troubles in the ongoing union parishad elections.
In the absence of the BNP, the AL has taken majority of chairman posts in its grip, but the UP polls exposed internal feud and lack of command within the party.
AL high-ups have failed to stop many of its leaders from contesting as independents even after issuing a strong warning.
Insiders said the more damaging aspect of the growing feud was that the party candidates' performance worsened with every election phase, which highlights a decline in the party's popularity.
Party leaders also think expulsion of a huge number of leaders and activists at the local level for supporting the rebels has weakened the strength at the grassroots.
In this situation, the party will send teams to different parts of the country throughout the year to find out the reasons behind the internal feuds. The teams will also suggest ways to solve them.
AL Organising Secretary Sakhawat Hossain Shafiq told The Daily Star, "Our political activities almost came to a halt due to the pandemic. The ongoing polls also unfortunately exposed feud and indiscipline within the party."
About the next course of action, he said, "We have already formed investigation committees to find out the reasons behind the infighting. Those who patronised the rebel candidates have already been identified.
"We will decide the next step based on the committee report."
He also said they would hold fully-fledged council sessions for grassroots and arrange "organisational tours" after the celebration of Homecoming Day of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on January 10.
"Creating new leaders in the party through the councils, we will rejuvenate it for the upcoming general elections," he added.
The AL will also hold talks with like-minded leftist and some moderate Islamist parties as it plans to expand its electoral alliance, said its leaders.
It had formed a 14-party alliance in 2005 and won the national election in 2008. The AL-led alliance also won the next two elections in 2014 and 2018.
But the partners of the coalition, termed an "ideological alliance" by the ruling party, are apparently not happy as a distance has developed within the alliance after 2018, according to the insiders, who said it happened after the AL formed the cabinet without anyone from its alliance partners.
The insiders also said that the party would now focus on cementing relations with its ideological partners.
The party also might conduct surveys by different organisations on probable MP candidates for the 300 parliamentary constituencies, the insiders added.