Inside Politics

Tone of disunity in the Awami League-led grand alliance


Despite repeated efforts by the Awami League-led alliance to maintain political unity, internal divisions have become apparent in various areas. Distance is growing between the constituent parties of the Election Alliance, Grand Alliance, and Ideal Alliance, comprising 14 political parties, on various issues. While on one side, a sudden rift has emerged within the Grand Alliance against the Awami League, the Jatiya Party and the Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JASAD), key partners in the Election Alliance with the Awami League, are voicing differences regarding the Bangabandhu assassination, leading to an exchange of statements. Additionally, following the casino scandal, Workers Party of Bangladesh leader Rashed Khan Menon's party has announced that they will not participate in the upcoming elections with Al boat symbol. Furthermore, some partner parties are expressing discontent over not receiving ministerial positions. Due to these factors and the positions and statements of the partner party leaders, the issue of disunity within the alliance is repeatedly coming to the forefront, leading to external speculation about instability within the alliance, according to political analysts.

In recent times, statements by leaders of the Jatiya Party and the new General Secretary Mujibul Haq Chunnu, have created differences within the political arena, especially since December 3rd. G.M. Quader, Chairman of the National Party, stated, "There is no good governance in the country anymore. After 1991, the Awami League and the BNP have repeatedly come to power without engaging with the people of the country. The people of the country have a united hope and look towards the Jatiya Party to see the Jatiya Party in power again." In addition, Mujibul Haq Chunnu remarked, "The Awami League has come to power three times with Japa's support. Now they are oppressing us. We no longer have any love for the Awami League." These contrasting statements by Japa's top two leaders have sparked concern within the political arena. The leaders of the 14 parties are now beginning to say that "the 14 parties will not take responsibility for the government's failures." Moreover, there is a diminishing interest among at least four partner parties in participating in the activities of the four alliances.

Among these four parties, the Bangladesh Jasad has been abstaining from alliance meetings and conferences for a long time. Apparently, this party, known for its sharp criticism of the government and the dominant Awami League, has been inactive in alliance activities without any formal announcement. In particular, the four parties have lost interest in participating in the programs of the four alliances. Rashid Khan Menon's Workers Party has already stated that they will not symbolically participate in the upcoming election. With these developments, speculation arises that partner parties may no longer be interested in staying with the Awami League.

How disunity begins

In the eleventh national election, the grand alliance led by the Awami League won victory with 293 seats in Bangladesh. Despite forming the government, no one from the partner parties was made a minister. This time, the Awami League has formed the first single-party cabinet. From there, the internal conflicts within the alliance began. In the new government, when none of the partners found a place within the alliance, efforts to change their positions began. After the formation of the government, the Awami League called upon its alliance partners to play a powerful opposition role in parliament. At that time, the leaders of the alliance, Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon and JSD President Hasanul Haq Inu, said in unison, "We have come together, we have voted together, there is no question of going into the opposition." They claimed that there had been no discussion with them, even about the role of the alliance partners in the government or the alliance. 

From here, it seems that the crisis has begun, and there are various debates in the political arena. Political analysts believe that this external expression of instability within the alliance is aimed at calculating who gains and who loses.

The problem remains unresolved, which is why

Former Awami League leader Mohammad Nasim, who served as the coordinator for 14 parties during his time, maintained unity among the 14 parties through various programs. However, he passed away on June 13th last year. After his death, Amir Hossain Amu has been appointed as the coordinator of the 14 parties. So far, there have only been a couple of meetings under Amu's coordination. Currently, the activities of the 14 parties remain stagnant; there is a lack of direction. They are not involved in government decision-making or activities.

However, the harsh comments of the leaders of the partner parties will not affect the Grand Alliance or the 14-party coalition, according to the Awami League. Several leaders of the coalition have stated that there is no crisis within the alliance; everyone is united. Each party conducts its own politics, and their political ideologies are different. The alliance between us is based on principles and electoral considerations. These two aspects are still strong, according to the Awami League leaders.

To understand this, Dr. Badiul Alam Majumdar, the secretsry of SHUJAN-Citizens for Good Governance, told Bangla Insider, "Whether it is 14 parties or the Grand Alliance, they don't say why because it is essentially one party. The other parties have no role. Therefore, there is no possibility of breaking the Grand Alliance or the 14-party coalition. Besides, the other parties are doing that business (politics) themselves. They consider it as their own business. So, the affiliated parties are benefiting from it as well. When they are with the Awami League, the Awami League also gains something. The Awami League is not alone; there are many other parties with them. Apart from that, the Awami League does not care about their role in government decisions.

Regarding the statements of the top leaders of the Jatiya Party, Dr. Badiul Alam Majumdar told Bangla Insider, "If the government becomes authoritarian, can the Jatiya Party oppose it? They also have to take responsibility. They behave as if they are the opposition party. They are imitating the behavior of the opposition party in government. They also have some responsibilities. Their responsibility in the opposition party is to point out the government's mistakes and shortcomings. Ensure the accountability of the government. For this love, just as the government party is responsible, they are equally responsible."

Awami League   Grand alliance