The Awami League and its affiliated organisations are forming committees for each polling centre across the country to create a festive atmosphere and ensure a robust voter turnout in the 12th national election on 7 January.
The formation of committees is nearing completion, according to AL sources, with over 1 crore local leaders and workers set to serve as members. The committees will spring into action once the list of party candidates is finalised.
As per directives from the party's central leadership, these groups will actively support law enforcers to ensure the security of polling stations, boost voter turnout, and remain in the field to quell the ongoing violence associated with the BNP-Jamaat.
A central AL leader said although such committees are formed in every election, this time the party is making more efforts toward increasing their calibre and activities.
Wary of low voter turnout in recent local and by-elections, the party aims to leverage these committees for increased voter participation, with strict instructions from the party president, he noted.
The ruling party's central office is forming a "unit committee" for each of the 42,000 polling centres nationwide, comprising a minimum of 150 members each, according to the party's central sources.
With this, at least 63 lakh leaders and activists will actively participate in these committees. The directive for forming these committees was issued by the central leadership in mid-October.
In addition, the Bangladesh Chhatra League, the student wing of the party, is working to form 20-member committees for each polling station nationwide. These committees will collectively comprise around 8.5 lakh members.
Meanwhile, the Jubo League, Swechasebak League, and Krishak League, three associate bodies of the ruling Awami League, are also in the process of forming separate committees for each polling station.
General secretaries of these three organisations stated that about 20 lakh leaders and activists will be in their committees.
Besides, 34 teams are working in Dhaka city to form "unit committees" for the AL's 139 wards in the capital, said SM Mannan Kochi, general secretary of the AL's Dhaka city north unit.
Awami League Presidium Member Matia Chowdhury said greater importance has been given to establishing robust and transparent committees for every polling station, highlighting their pivotal role in securing victory for the Awami League.
SM Kamal Hossain, organising secretary of the AL, informed The Business Standard that committee lists from each ward are being submitted to local leaders, soon to be forwarded to the central leadership.
Their activities will align with central instructions for a proper electoral process. Once Awami League nominations are finalised, these committees will actively engage voters in supporting the party's symbol, 'Boat,' while highlighting the government's 15 years of development activities.
The committees will assist the law enforcement agencies in maintaining a healthy polling station environment throughout the electoral process, added Kamal Hossain, mentioning that the committees will also work to prevent any opposition attempt to foil the elections.
Committee formation method
According to AL sources, ward presidents and general secretaries are pivotal in forming unit committees, with guidance from relevant MPs and local presidents and general secretaries.
Careful screening is enforced to prevent the inclusion of controversial individuals, including infiltrators, members of anti-independence families, identified drug dealers, and those involved in various crimes.
Controversial inclusions will lead to the responsible leader's duties being revoked.
The emphasis is on including proven party loyalists, believers in the spirit of the liberation war, and accepted progressive individuals from diverse social professions.
The target is to complete the nationwide formation of unit committees by the end of November.
20 lakh online workers
The ruling party is also deploying 6 lakh new "smart workers" trained from 26 October to 1 November to promote the government's development activities on social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.
Their primary task is to disseminate information about government activities and foster public opinion against opposition-led violence.
Additionally, the Chhatra League has directed around 8 lakh of its members to engage in similar online activities.
To oversee these efforts, a monitoring cell, led by former secretary Kabir bin Anwar, has been established at the Awami League's central level.