Politics in 2022: AL ends it on a high note despite poor start
Political activities of the ruling Awami League in 2022 began slowly, after a quiet pandemic, and gathered significant momentum towards the end of the year.
The activities gathered pace largely due to the AL and the government's events and the programmes the party launched to counter the BNP's agitations, mostly rallies and processions after August 22.
The pandemic compelled AL President Sheikh Hasina to avoid public appearances but she started showing up at rallies this year which enthused AL rank and file.
In November, Hasina started electioneering for the 12th national polls, slated for January 2024, from a rally attended by a few lakh people. This was a morale boost for partymen who had to witness huge rallies of the BNP.
The AL is going to end the year on a high after completing its 22nd triennial conference on December 24 that elected Hasina party president for the 10th consecutive time, and the grand openings of Padma Bridge and metro rail which the AL promised to the nation.
PROBLEMS IT FACED
The Awami League started 2022 badly.
It suffered blow after blow for failing to manage party rebels in union parishad polls, which the BNP and other major political parties boycotted.
The Cumilla City Corporation election, held in June, brought some relief with an AL-backed mayor candidate winning for the first time there.
However, at the Rangpur city polls this week, AL's mayor candidate suffered a humiliating defeat, which cost her her security deposit.
Throughout the year, as AL stepped on the gas on organisational activities, ugly infighting came to the fore with deadly clashes especially ahead of local government polls.
At least 100 incidents of infighting were recorded between January and November that claimed the lives of 12 people and left 1,340 people injured, according to Ain o Salish Kendra.
According to party insiders, the AL next year will focus on countering the opposition's anti-government agitations, holding campaign rallies, and organisational activities ahead of the national polls.
The AL formed the 14-party alliance in 2005 and won the national election in 2008, 2014, and 2018 but relations with its partners suffered as the allies were given hardly any space in the government and were largely ignored.
Next year, the AL will hold talks with like-minded leftist and some moderate Islamist parties as it plans to expand its electoral alliance and narrow the gap between its partners in the 14-party alliance.
The new central committee of AL, formed on December 24, will formally start its organisational activities on January 4 by placing floral wreaths at the tomb of the Father of the Nation at Tungipara.
Talking to The Daily Star, AL Joint General Secretary Bahauddin Nasim said their main aim for next year is to make the party stronger to face the national polls.
He also said AL activists across the country will make door-to-door visits and highlight he government's achievements, like successes in dealing with the pandemic and openings of the Padma Bridge and Metro rail.
The ruling party will start its activities and electioneering for the beginning of the new year, sources said.
Next year, AL supremo Hasina will continue to participate in election rallies. She is scheduled to join a rally in Rajshahi on February 4.
Hasina started her campaign rallies in Jessore on November 25. She joined a rally in Chattogram on December 4 and another one in Cox's Bazar on December 7. In every rally, she urged people to vote for "Boat".