Awami League nominated candidate Badar Uddin Ahmed Kamran was defeated in the Sylhet City election. In the three city elections held yesterday, AL lost only in Sylhet. Whenever there are divisions and internal conflicts within the party, AL faces defeat. Sylhet is a fitting example of this.
Not only in the city elections, AL suffered in national elections due to the party`s internal conflict. In 1991, during the national election, the grouping issue tuned out to be a major problem for AL. Subsequently, AL encountered defeat in that national election. AL won the next election unitedly. From 1996 to 2001, the party was in power. But they lost to the BNP-Jamaat alliance in the 2001 election again because of the same problem i.e. division, and conflict.
Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is giving the most importance on the party`s unity ahead of the upcoming 11th parliamentary election. Sheikh Hasina`s clear instruction to the leaders and workers of the party was that there must not be any conflict within the party. We saw its reflection in the city elections.
AL candidate won in Khulna, Gazipur, Sylhet, Rajshahi and Barisal City elections, except in Sylhet. The political analysts believe AL won in those cities because the internal party conflict was resolved. Kamran lost in Sylhet due to lack of support from the party workers. The same incident happened in the Cumilla City election.
The prime minister took initiatives to control the internal party conflict. For this reason, she held meetings before the election of Gazipur City was held. Awami League nominated candidate Jahangir Alam`s rival Azmatullah was called in Dhaka. He was rewarded a position in the central committee in condition of working for Jahangir. Before the Khulna city election, she announced that whoever would create party conflict would be expelled.
But it was not possible to control the conflict in Sylhet. Sylhet city election proved again that whenever there is a division in AL, the party suffers.
Sources said AL has this problem in 167 constituencies out of 175. There are multiple candidates in these constituencies who began campaigning before the nomination process taken place. If such activities are not handled properly, AL will have to pay price in the near future. Very soon AL plans to name the candidate in each constituency and give direction to other leaders for working for the selected candidate. Of course, it is a big challenge for AL. But, if AL fails to sort out these issues, it will face similar consequence like Sylhet.