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Rift looms in 14-party alliance PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Local polls

Desk Report

The withdrawal of a candidate from the local polls foray in Rajshahi has opened up an apparent rift between the Awami League and its ally Workers Party.

The division came to a head, hours after Fazle Hossain Badshah of the Workers Party pulled back from the race as Rajshahi City Corporation mayoral candidate.
 
In a politburo meeting on July 18, the Workers Party will review whether it should support the 14-party-backed Awami League leaders in other three city corporation elections.
 
"The withdrawal of nomination by Badshah will hurt unity in 14-party allies," said Workers Party president Rashed Khan Menon.
 
"It has created an impediment to a combined movement and unity. I don't know what the Awami League will do now."
 
"The 14-party alliance does not mean only the Awami League. This incident will hurt confidence among the 14-party leaders," Menon said.
 
Awami League presidium member Amir Hossain Amu welcomed the withdrawal of nomination by Badshah.
 
"Badshah has pulled back from elections realising the ground reality in Rajshahi and for the sake of democracy and non-communal politics," Amu said.
 
"His decision will shore up unity."
 
Asked why Badshah withdrew the nomination, Menon said: "If Badshah had been in the race, both candidates would have lost. There has been an attempt from the beginning to break the unity of non-communal forces."
 
Amu also said: "Badshah's nomination withdrawal will not have any impact on the central 14-party. As Badshah himself has withdrawn his candidacy there is no controversy."
 
On the other hand, Menon said: "I think Badshah's nomination was a correct decision. Although Badshah has withdrawn his nomination we are not going to field a new candidate in Rajshahi."
 
"The unity of secular forces in Rajshahi has been snapped up in the name of Nagorik Committee and the 14-party."
 
Asked whether the Worker's Party will continue to support AL leaders in other city corporations, Menon said: "We will have to think it over. We will sit on July 18 and review the matter."
 
Another Awami League presidium member Tofail Ahmed said: "Badshah has given up his nomination, realising the situation in Rajshahi."
 
Tofail appreciated Menon for this.

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