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Revenge killings feared if AL loses next elections -The Asian Age


If the ruling Awami League of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina losses in the December general elections, which is being considered a do or die for the two major parties, a bloodbath is feared in politically volatile Bangladesh.

"If the BNP-Jamaat comes to power a bloodbath is inevitable as they will try to take revenge after being out of power for straight 10 years," Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury, the London-based  veteran British-Bangladeshi journalist told the Asian Age in an interview at his home. 

He added: "Bangladesh will turn into Afghanistan or Pakistan with Awami League out of power and it will be the end of democracy in the country... I fear the outcome of the elections might not be what the people want."The plot to trigger violence unearthed at the Gazipur mayoral election was a rehearsal by Tarique Rahman's people, he said. 

According to reliable sources in India, Tarique Rahman pumped some Taka 500 crore to destabilise the elections by using his party cadres, "high breeds" and scattred members of the banned militant organisation Jamaatul Mujaheedin, Bangladesh (JMB).

Political sources insisted that Tarique Rahman has planned to derail the elections if it again stays out over free elections or if it decides to stay away again.   

Asked why he had such a fear, Chowdhury said " political conspiracies were underway and is more stronger than any time before ... it (conspiracies) is spreading its wings in foreign countries."

The December elections are especially crucial for the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its ally Jamaat-e-Islami, which is not qualified to contest the polls as per electoral laws, as it has been out of power for long 10 years.

But it is not easy for it to score as its chairman Khaleda Zia has been jailed for graft, while its other leader Tarique Rahman has also been convicted for money laundering. He is has taken refuge in London since 2007 during the military-backed caretaker government.

Sheikh Hasina brought her Awami League back to power in 1996, 21 years after it was ousted with the killing of Bangabandhu in 1975. In 2009 it again formed  government, while in 2014 the elections were held without the BNP, which opted to stay out.

Chowdhury, who was very close to assassinated Father of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, "Sheikh Hasina should strengthen her party and not depend on bureaucracy as the party is now consisted of 60 percent bureaucracy and 40 percent high breed (new faces)," he said, adding that he felt bad that Bangladesh's oldest political party has lost its strong political base in favour of commercial base.

Told that Sheikh Hasina has undertaken massive developments works and some are very visible. Why she should worry about the results of the December elections after such contribution to the country along with a fillip in the economy sector? Gaffar Chowdhury replied that the fruits of her "tremendous developments" were yet to reach the masses fully.

----AA, London