The ruling Awami League yesterday suspended one of its leaders in Kurigram for working against its candidate and also warned rebels about organisational action if they did not quit the election race.
The move came as the party began taking measures against those breaching its discipline, said its leaders.
Moti Sheuli, president of Ulipur AL, has been suspended for allegedly taking part in polls campaign against the AL candidate in Kurigram-3, said a press release from the party signed by its Office Secretary Abdus Sobhan Golap.
The party also issued a show cause notice to the leader asking her to reply within 15 days why she would not be expelled, according to the release.
While talking to our Kurigram correspondent, Sheuli, however, denied the allegation.
“The constituency will ’remain open’ and my husband will contest the polls on Jatiya Party’s [Monju] ticket under the Awami League-led Grand Alliance. But I am working in favour of my party candidate,” she said, adding, “It seems I have been misunderstood by some local and the central leaders.”
She also said she would clarify her stance on the matter at the party chief’s Dhanmondi office within seven days.
Addressing a press conference at the office yesterday, AL Joint General Secretary Jahangir Kabir Nanak said the party had a few rebels in the coming polls and that they were asked to quit the election race by tomorrow and work in favour of the grand alliance candidates instead.
He also said those disobeying the party order would have to face organisational actions.
Some 50-55 AL leaders had submitted nomination papers going against the party decision and around 30 to 35 of them were still actively campaigning, party sources said.
The others quit the race on being persuaded by the AL high-ups, the sources added.
The party has fielded its candidates in 258 constituencies and set aside the remaining 42 seats for its alliance partners.
Of the partners, Jatiya Party got 29 seats, Workers Party of Bangladesh five, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (Inu) three, Tarikat Federation two, Jatiya Party (Monju) two and Bangladesh Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal got one seat.
At a press conference recently, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader warned that AL rebels contesting the polls defying the party decision would face expulsion.
The punishment will stay even if they win, he added.
AL President Sheikh Hasina has sent letters to rebel candidates requesting them to withdraw their candidacy and join the AL nominees on the campaign trail.