Ofiul Hasnat Ruhin
The ruling Awami League has expelled 32 leaders in two days on charges of contesting the municipal elections as rebel candidates in breach of party decision, sources in the party said.
The party also asked the presidents and general secretaries of Pabna, Rangpur, Kurigram, Khulna and Jessore district units to explain debacle in the municipal polls.
It also asked the president and general secretary of the Munshiganj district unit, Mohiuddin Ahmed and Lutfur Rahman, to explain why the district unit would not be disbanded on charges of working against the party-backed candidates, sources said.
Senior party leaders on Saturday afternoon made the decisions. They also requested the chief whip, Abdus Shahid, Rajbari lawmaker Zillul Hakim, Mymensingh lawmakers Matiur Rahman and Gias Uddin, Netrakona lawmaker Ashraf Ali Khan Khashru and Noakhali lawmaker Ekramul Kabir to work in favour of party-backed candidates.
The sources said the expulsion of some more leaders and activists was under way. They said punitive action would be taken against all the rebel candidates who either contested or are contesting the polls, in two days.
‘The party has expelled the leaders and activists on charges of breaching party discipline,’ the Awami League’s joint general secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif told New Age on Saturday, adding that action would gradually be taken against all such violators.
He said that the party decided to take punitive action based on the gravity of the offences but the leaders who contested the polls violating party decision would be expelled.
‘Thirty-two leaders and activists have been expelled till Saturday and the decision on the expulsion of some others is under way,’ a central AL leader told New Age, adding that the expelled leaders would not be allowed to join the party in future.
The Awami League’s organising secretary Sayeed Al Mahmud Shawpon, who was responsible for coordination of the party’s affairs regarding municipal polls in the Rajshahi division, told New Age that there were 49 municipalities in the division and it would take two more days to take action against the offenders.
The leaders expelled till Saturday are Abdul Wadud, Abdul Jabbar, Amirul Islam, Golam Kabir, Abdul Mannan, Mainul Hossain, Hamidul Islam, Abdul Hai, Younus Khan, Mohammad Faisal, Roman Ali, Badiuzzaman in the Dhaka division, Jasim Uddin, Akhtar Hossain, Abdul Wadud, Rezaul Karim, Mahbub Alam, Iqbal Patwari, Kamal Ahmed, Shahjahan Mallik, Fazlul Karim, Zakir Hossain, Yunus Bhuiyan, Rafiqul Haider and Babul Pathan in the Chittagong division and Sohel Ahmed, Nahid Ahmed and Abdun Noor in the Sylhet division.
The names of the five rebels expelled in the Rajshahi division could not be known immediately.
Earlier on Thursday, the AL president, Sheikh Hasina, also the prime minister, instructed the party’s general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam to take action against the rebel candidates so that the party could perform better in the polls to remaining municipalities.
After the instruction had been made, the party leaders decided to expel the rebel candidates instantly and asked local leaders and activists not to work for rebel candidates.
AL-backed candidates won 42 mayoral posts in Rangpur, Rajshahi, Khulna and Barisal divisions while BNP-backed candidates won 47 posts in the four divisions.