Realizing a plain fact that retaining power for the third consecutive term would be a huge hurdle, if not ‘mission impossible’ for the ruling Bangladesh Awami League as the main opposition party (now out of parliament due to its boycotting of 2014 polls), Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) already are getting prepared for the next general election; top brasses of AL are desperately looking for better candidates from the grassroot level, while it has taken decision of not providing party nominations to a large number of controversial ministers, state and deputy ministers, and MPs.
A research cell of AL, with the help of its own sources and intelligence agencies, as well as media reports are working on preparing digital data bases of each of the prospective candidates, and the controversial figures. Supreme leadership of the AL won’t show any mercy to the ‘dirtied’ candidates.
Similarly, the ruling party also is making realistic assessments on the prospects of winning or fate of the candidates of the 14-party alliance and Jatiyo Party.
According to findings, if BNP finally remains in the electoral race, there will be unpredictable or at least neck-to-neck contest amongst AL and BNP candidates, while parties like Tarikat Federation, and Bangladesh Nationalist Front have zero chance of bagging any sent. Fate of candidate of other partners of the 14-party alliance would also be similar, while former military dictator Hussain Muhammad Ershad’s Jatiyo Party may get 5-7 seats.
Policymakers of the ruling party has serious doubts on the team led by Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda, as it is highly unlikely that this commission would show a loyal and extremely partisan behavior as that of recent-past chief election commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmed and his team members.
Moreover, hundreds of foreign observers and journalists from home and abroad are expected to arrive in Bangladesh to monitor the election.
Due to continuous repressions on the religious minorities, especially Hindus, there would be huge decline in Awami League’s Hindu vote bank.
During election campaign, BNP may prominently bring-up Pilkhana Massacre, border killing, water-sharing treaties with India, corridor facilities to India, quick-rental power plants, Rampal thermal power plant, Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant, rotten wheat scandal, Panama Papers, Brahmanbaria mayhem, attack on Buddhist temples in Ramu, Sonali Bank scam, Basic Bank scam, Bangladesh Bank heist, Unipay2u scam, Destiny scam, Sagar-Runi murder, Sohagi Jahan Tonu murder, Narayanganj 7-murder, Toki murder, forced disappearances, extra-judicial killings, campus violences, extortions, militancy, child marriage law, hike in energy price etc amongst other issues.
While working on Plan-A of winning the next election, AL also is Considering Plan-B if BNP comes to power. In that case, thousands of party activists would come to the street, similarly as it has been happening since Donald Trump won in the November 8th presidential election. BNP and Khaleda Zia would be labelled as pro-jihadists, anti-Semitic, anti-Hindu etc.
Amongst the prominent figures who won’t get AL nomination are some ministers, who made headlines due to corruption, nepotism or had hands behind criminal activities. Similarly, MPs with bad names will not get party ticket. Several prominent leaders of Jatiyo Party may join Awami League before the next election. Awami League will soon launch massive media campaign targeting the next general election.