AL under fire from allies
The ruling Awami League yesterday drew heavy flak from its left-leaning allies for ignoring them in taking many crucial political decisions and also for already starting "electioneering" for the next national polls.
At a meeting of the 14-Party alliance, they said the AL calls them only when it faces a crisis, said top leaders of the AL-led alliance.
The leftist parties also said they are disappointed that the AL does not give them space in the government and does not attach importance to the alliance.
The meeting was presided over by Amir Hossain Amu, the alliance coordinator and veteran AL leader. It was held at his Eskaton residence.
According to meeting sources, leaders of the allies said the AL president has already started electioneering and seeking votes for 'boat' -- the ruling party's electoral symbol.
They told Amu that they were in the dark whether the AL would participate in the next election unilaterally or as an alliance, and that they did not know if they had any role to play as the AL has already begun campaigning.
The AL took part in the 2008, 2014 and 2018 elections under the 14-party electoral alliance, formed in 2008.
Just before the 2008 election, the Grand Alliance was formed with the Jatiya Party.
Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal President Hasanul Haq Inu, Jatiya Party (Manju) Chairman Anwar Hossain Manju, Bangladesher Samyabadi Dal General Secretary Dilip Barua, and Tarikat Federation President Syed Nazibul Bashar Maizvandari, among others, spoke at the meeting yesterday.
Inu pointed out that the AL had already started electioneering unilaterally and wanted to know whether the alliance partners should also do so or sit idle.
Meeting sources further said Dilip Barua alleged that a number of financial scams took place in recent years and the government will have to put a stop to these in order to regain the people's confidence.
He also said the BNP wants an anarchic situation.
If the government fails to contain financial corruption, it will help the opposition party to implement its "ill motive", which may lead to a constitutional crisis, he added.
Dilip suggested the AL take initiatives to help people regain confidence in the banking sector.
At the meeting, Manju also raised the issue of financial corruption and inflation.
If the current inflation continues, it will create labour unrest, meeting sources quoted him as saying.
He asked whether the AL has any plans if workers take to the streets due to the inflation.
Menon expressed disappointment over "Khela Hobey", phrases used by some AL leaders lately. "Such a slogan doesn't go with the character and spirit of the 14-party alliance."
He also said such a slogan will only push the country towards confrontations and suggested that it be gotten rid of, said sources.
Ismail Hossain, acting secretary of the National Awami Party, asked why the government chose to start electioneering a year ahead of the national polls and at a time when it is facing inflation and a financial crisis.
Responding to the allegations and frustrations, Amu said the AL will start a programme under the banner of the 14-party alliance, after the party's national council, slated for December 24.
He also told them to revive the alliance at the district level, said sources.
Amu added that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has already announced that the AL will participate in the next election, scheduled for January 2024, under the 14-party alliance.
At a post-meeting briefing, Amu told reporters the meeting decided to face in unison the BNP and its "ill motive to destablise the country".