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Grand alliance to hold divisional rallies after eid: AL allies in the dark

SHAMIM KHAN Senior Correspondent |
Update: 2010-08-30 20:02:42
Grand alliance to hold divisional rallies after eid: AL allies in the dark

DHAKA: The ruling Awami League-led grand alliance is going to hold rallies at divisional headquarters to mobilize public support for holding the trial of war criminals and also to build a political counteroffensive against the anti-government movement being waged by the opposition BNP-Jamaat combine.

Awami League, in the meantime, has announced the programme of rallies at divisional level, but the other components of the alliance expressed their ignorance about the plan.

The grand alliance has not yet taken any united programme since the general election swept the coalition into power. The component parties of the alliance are also divided on some crucial issues.

The Jatiya Party of ex-president general HM Ershad does not wish to stand against the trial of crime against humanity and war crimes. They are overlooking the issue, refraining from taking sides.

Moreover, some partners of the loose-knit alliance wouldn’t like to go along with the Jatiya Party they had once fought against during the ‘anti-autocracy’ movement in the 1980s that made Ershad stand down from the presidency in December 1990.

An executive committee meeting of the Awami League held on July 16 took decision to strengthen the grand alliance. It also decided to mobilize public opinion in favour of the trial of the war criminals and face the opposition.

Besides, combining all pro-liberation political parties and socio-cultural organizations in a new political alignment is also on the cards, virtually as a regime change is in the process based on the basics of the post-independence constitution of the country following the abrogation of the 5th and 7th amendments.

Immediately after Eid-ul-Fitr, now round the corner, the grand alliance will hold rallies at seven divisional headquarters, according to the decision taken during the AL executive committee meeting.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina along with other top leaders of the alliance are expected to address the rallies.

A day after the executive committee meeting, AL General Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam announced the decision on July 17.

A month and a half have elapsed since, but holding the rallies is yet to be backed up with any preparations. Moreover, the components of the grand alliance were not informed formally.

When contacted, a partner of the grand alliance and president of Workers Party Rashed Khan Menon MP told that he was not aware of any discussion with AL over the grand rallies.

“We have seen it in newspapers but yet not aware officially. These should be done properly from the alliance,” said the left-party leader.

Presidium member of Jatiya Party Kazi Feroz Rashid and Ziauddin Bablu, General Secretary of Ganotantri Party Nurur Rahman Selim, JSD General Secretary Sharif Nurul Ambia and General Secretary of the National Awami Party (NAP) Advocate Enamul Haque are all unaware of the decision.

However, Anisul Islam Mahmud, another presidium member of the JP, said they will decide only when they will get a proposal. “We will discuss it with our chairman and take a decision.”

Advocate Enamul Haque, however, said the 14-party alliance was formed with minimum identical programme and the Awami League later cobbled up grand alliance taking in Jatiya Party. “But we will reconsider our stance over programmes of the grand alliance.”

When contacted, Awami League acting General Secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif said the matter is yet to be discussed with the alliance partners. “It will be duly discussed with them after the Eid,” he said.

BDST 1000 HRS, AUGUST 31, 2010.

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