Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader believes ‘organisational issues’ were partially responsible for the Awami League’s terrible performance in the Rangpur City Corporation polls.
“We are looking into these matters on our own. We are probing it,” he said in response to a question from the media at the Secretariat on Thursday. “We will take major steps within a week.”
Jatiya Party candidate Mostafizur Rahman Mostafa was elected mayor in the Rangpur City Corporation polls on Tuesday, reports bdnews24.com.
Mostafizur bagged 146,798 votes, while his closest challenger, Md Amiruzzaman of the Islami Andolan Bangladesh, polled 49,892 votes, according to unofficial results announced by election officials.
Awami League candidate Hosne Ara Lutfa won 22,306 votes, coming fourth behind the Awami League’s rebel candidate Md Latifur Rahman, who won 33,883.
Rangpur has always been a stronghold for the Jatiya Party, but the Awami League’s position in the area is not so weak that its candidates are expected to receive such a thrashing in local polls. The party’s weak performance spurred talk, particularly about Awami League’s choice of candidate and the subsequent internal fallout.
Several Awami League leaders say the nomination was given to a candidate who was ‘not well known’ at the grassroots level and passed over other leaders who had been preparing for an election for a long time. They also blamed the party’s ‘lack of coordination’ for a performance poor enough to have lost the candidate her security deposit.
Quader said the party had known about the boat candidate’s relative weakness, but had not expected such a stark loss.
“The Jatiya Party candidate was ahead in the opinion polls,” he said. “But there are internal issues as well, otherwise the difference would not have been this large.”
“None of us went there. We knew we were behind. As we were behind, we did not make a strong effort to catch up. In that sense, I believe democracy won.”
For some time, the Awami League general secretary has been using a slogan about how the party would “step up to play” against its political opponents in the political field. Asked about the slogan following the Rangpur loss, he said:
“We'll raise our game not here, but in the true election -- the general election. Are these proper matches? They’re just local government polls.”