Dhaka,  Sunday
19 May 2024

Upazila polls: Defiers of PM’s orders to face the music

M Saiful Islam, Dhaka 

Published: 07:57, 20 April 2024

Upazila polls: Defiers of PM’s orders to face the music

Photo: Collected

The Awami League says it will take action against those disobeying Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s orders about the upcoming upazila elections.  The matter will be discussed in detail at the party's working committee meeting on April 30, party leaders say. 

They also say the party will not spare those trying to influence the elections despite the directives of the prime minister and the final decision on the action against the defiers will be made at the meeting.

The prime minister has directed that family members and relatives of Awami League ministers and lawmakers will not be allowed to contest the elections, noting this will keep the process free from influence. 

The elections will be held in four phases in 480 upazilas on May 8, 23, 29, and June 5. The deadline for the submission of nomination papers in the first phase is April 15 while the selection will be done on April 17. 

The last date for nomination withdrawal is April 22. Voting will be held on May 8. Many candidates have already collected nomination papers for the first phase.

The ruling party has adopted an open candidacy system in the upazila elections and has not even used the party symbol. 

Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader has said action will be taken against anyone attempting to influence the polls by disobeying the instructions of the party. 

Despite the orders from the highest level of the party, the picture on the ground is different. There have been reports that Awami League ministers and MPs are trying to influence the elections at the grassroots level. 

Of those, the two incidents in Singra of Natore and Noakhali caused a stir across the country. Besides, many small and big incidents are happening every day.

However, after the instructions of the prime minister on Thursday, the process of taking action started. The Singra upazila Awami League unit show-caused its Joint Secretary Lutful Habib Rubel, who is a candidate, for being involved in the abduction of Delwar Hossain, his rival upazila chairman candidate, on Friday. 

Rubel is the brother-in-law of State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak, who apologised for the incident on Friday. He also warned of strict action against the perpetrators.

Awami League's Relief and Social Affairs Secretary Aminul Islam told The Daily Messenger the party will take strict action against those defying the prime minister's orders. 

“The prime minister has directed to conduct a fair election. That will happen if the ministers and MPs do not exert influence. That is what the premier wants.”

Awami League’s Khulna division Organising Secretary BM Mozammel Haque told The Daily Messenger the party has already started actively implementing the prime minister's instructions about the polls. 

He said the party’s working committee meeting on April 30 would decide what action would be taken against the defiers.