Weakness in grassroots admitted

Rebels were tamed this time: AL

17 March 2014 Kazi Zahidul Hasan

The ruling Awami League (AL) has made a strong come back in the third phase of upazila election outshining its archrival Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).
The third phase local body election was held on Saturday in 81 upazilas across the 41 districts amid widespread violence that left three people dead.
In Saturday's polls, the AL-backed candidates bagged 41 posts of chairman, BNP backed aspirants won in 28 upazilas while candidates loyal to Jaamat-e-Islami got seven chairman posts out of 88.
With the latest election results, the number of AL-backed chairman winners rose to 113 while that of BNP to 122 and Jamaat to 27.
Earlier, in the two phases of 213 upazila polls last month, the BNP-backed candidates put up a good showing. In the 213 upazilas, the BNP's contenders won 93, AL 81 and Jamaat 20 chairman posts.
The Election Commission (EC) arranged elections in 98 upazilas in the first phase and 114 in the second phase. "AL fought back in the third phase of upazila election outperforming rival BNP as the party could refrained the rebel candidates from contesting the polls," AL presidium member Nuh-ul Alam Lenin, told The New Nation yesterday.
He added: We made hectic efforts reorganizing the party's grassroots and at the same time tried to overcome organizational weaknesses by this time to secure a good result in the polls.
When asked, Nuh-ul Alam Lenin said the poll results of AL's in the earlier two phases of upazila poll was not up to the mark. "The high-ups were unhappy over the results," he said, adding, "Most worrying for the party was the leaders and supporters had failed to come up with mass contract."        
He also blamed lack of seriousness of the central leaders, party lawmakers and poor organisation at the grassroots levels for the party's poor performance in earlier polls result.
Lenin further said, the rebel candidates gave much pain to us in the previous two phases of election. But this time most of the rebels worked for the AL candidates following instructions of the central leadership, to take lead over it archrival BNP in this time.
Responding to BNP's allegation of vote rigging, the AL presidium member said, "It is nothing new. When BNP won the polls it said it was fair but when they lost they made the allegation of rigging.

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