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Contrast of campaign in Bangladesh election December 26, 2008

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General election is very close. The political parties are engaged in every effort to change the tide of the election in their favour.

Though there are many similarities in their strategies but there are differences also.

AL always longed for an election and was taking preparation with an eye for the election. Even when Hasina was in the jail, she opted for participating in the election.But on the other hand, BNP deferred their decision to participate in the election after the release of Khaleda.

AL preferred to start their campaign by declaring their manifesto in a grandiose manner in the lobby of Hotel Sheraton. BNP began their campaign by visiting the mazar of Hazrat Shahjalal at Sylhet. Hasina covered the incident by adjusting her visit on the day before declaring the manifeso.BNP also declared their manifesto on the following day after AL declared its manifesto. While the AL manifesto touches the philosophy, programs and long term vision of her government, BNP stresses more on the projects and programs for the next 5 years.

In selecting the candidates, AL started with the grassroots recommendations but later adjusted some of the candidates judging the candidatures of BNP and its alliances. BNP due to time constraint but more for its own party policy, chose the old stalwarts of the party.They didn’t even consider whether the candidate was accused or convicted on corruption, extortion etc. Rather they seems to throw a challenge to the caretaker government on their judgment. Many of the convicts and corrupts even joined the race with the verdict of the higher court once the final list of the candidates was declared.

Both the parties preferred to make alliance with the other parties. AL already had in 11 party which includes some small left leaning parties. But later, after interesting political drama, they added Jatiya Party , led by Ex President Ershad who is condemned in history for his 9 yr autocratic rule in 80’s. BNP was in alliance of 4 party with Jamaat-e-Islami and other two parties in their last government which they wanted to continue in this election also. The mathematical formula of winning of BNP with Jamaat in 2001 election actually prompted AL to form alliance with JP though the secular and democratic image of AL is compromised to some extent because of this.

Regarding the anti-libration forces, it preferred to continue its old alliance with Jamaat-e-Islami and is trying negate the idea as political propaganda. Sector Commander Forum identifies 15 candidates of JI who were involved in anti-liberation activities. The alliance of AL with Jatiya Party also tainted it compromise with the anti-liberation forces. 2 of JP candidates endorsed by great alliance of AL.

In the campaign speeches, though the two camps highlighting their manifesto promises, Khaleda keeps her main brunt criticising the failure of the present caretaker government, making allegation of conspiracy of vote rigging and protesting the attempt on her life. Hasina is more objective in pronouncing the party programs to the voters and declared that he ready to sacrifice her life for the country in the backdrop of the news of conspiracy of JMB for killing her. It is true that Khaleda has devoted more time and energy to cover more spaces than Hasina.

Both the parties told of using the internet and digital technology. But none use it to the maximum. AL, BNP and JI have upgraded their websites. BNP projected ads in the TV channels.Later, AL and JP also float their ads in the TV channels. Hasina also made some video conference in distant areas, but not flushed much in the media. Till now, I have got no message from any candidate but got a message to my mobile from Grameen Phone to vote for ‘joggo prarthy’.

Thanks GP. We are in favour of honest and competent candidates.

An ordinary citizen


1. E-BANGLADESH - December 27, 2008

[…] – An Ordinary Citizen Categories : Election | Quotes […]

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