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23rd-Feb-2014

AL devises new strategy for 2nd phase

By STAFF REPORTER

After defeat in the first phase of the upazila election held on February 20, the ruling Awami League [AL] high command has directed the party's senior leaders to devise  a new strategy to bag more  upazila chairman posts in the second phase of upzila election to be held on February 27.
The election will be held in 117 upazilas.
The AL senior leaders have been analysing the reasons of defeat to the BNP and asked all to work hard to improve the election result in the  second phase, insiders said.
As a part of new strategy, the AL has decided not to tolerate any intra-party feud anymore. Besides, it will discourage the rebel candidates by 'any means' with a view to nominating single candidate in every upazila in future.
The AL will highlight the government's successes while canvassing for  their candidates and will apprise the voters of the arson, vandalism and anarchy committed by the  BNP and the Jamaat-e-Islam during and before the general election held on January 5.  More emphasis will be given in the Jamaat-e-Islam dominated areas.
Already letters with different instructions have been sent to the upazila level leaders urging the possible rebel candidates not to participate in the polls in the greater interest of the party. Moreover, the AL leaders [upzilas] have also been asked to stay in the filed till the election date.
 "We are not satisfied with the results achieved in the first phase of upazila polls. In fact, the result is unexpected to us. We will overcome the second phase polls by strengthening the party's grass roots level, taking lesson from the past mistakes," Health Minister and AL Presidium Member, Mohammd Nasim said.   
Meanwhile, several AL leaders have admitted that the reasons behind the defeat in the first phase upazila polls were failure to choose right candidate and intra-party feud at local level. Apart from it, political clout of senior AL leaders also played a key role in its defeat.
In the first phase, 35 AL-backed candidates including its rebels won while the BNP-backed candidates got victory in 43 upzilas while its ally Jamaat-e Islami men won in 12 upazilas.  "We failed to pick up right candidates to contest the polls. If we had selected a single candidate, the results would have been different. In Chittagong, it was  my failure," Bir Bahadur, AL Organizing Secretary, Chittagong division, said.
Communications Minister Obaidul Quader has blamed the party's "organisational weakness" for defeat. "The party [AL] must analyze the reasons of its defeat in local body polls and take proper initiatives to overcome organizational weakness," he noted.
The AL, however, expressed satisfaction over the electoral process to 97 upazilas. "The election was held in a free, fair and credible manner. It does not matter who wins the polls. But the matter of gladness is that government could hold a fair election. The voters chose their representative through franchise. It was AL's great success," AL Presidium Member Kazi Zafrullah said.