Photo Courtesy: BanglarChokh.com.bd
A. B. M. Mohiuddin Chowdhury’s son Mohibul Hassan wrote an interesting analysis that in some areas did not even spare his own father in allocating blame. So it feels like a pretty heart-felt piece.
To spare you from going to Facebook to read the actual item, we are posting it below with our commentary.
Before we start, lets congratulate Mr. Mohiduddin Chowdhury for being a graceful loser: he just congratulated Manzur Alam and offered to assist him in any way.
Now, on to Mr. Hassan’s writing. We will link our comments with inserted pointers in his screed.
[a] Wow.. Mr. Hassan is taking it a bit personally. Mr. Chowdhury lost the election where he was a candidate. Who is this “everyone” Mr. Hassan is speaking of?
[b] Mr. Hassan attended LSE. I have no reason to think he does not know what “muscle” means. Mr. Hassan: please be careful using words like this. People will mistake you as a thug who wanted to win at any cost.
[c] “Failed to utilize the administration”? Is Mr. Hassan claiming that there is a way his side could have used the administration to win the election? Perhaps he forgot that elections are supposed to be won at the ballot box, not by government intervention? The Prime Minister and leader of AL, and of course the election commission would take an extremely dim view of these claims that border on electoral misconduct.
Again, not a bad analysis, but I really wish young Mr. Hassain stopped at complaining about the influence of money without prescribing illegal remedies.
How the ship sank
Chowdhoury Mohibul Hassan.
With the state of our campaign, I warned everyone, we were playing a losing game, and when I said the “ship” will sink, I was told off! No one bothered to listen to me!
My father and his and emotional approach in politics cost him this election at the expense of everyone [a].
1. I saw our camp had no plan to “bring voters out” and cast their votes, they were all relying on age old local leaders, who simply gone into comma as the party is in power. Worst was relying on councilor candidates, who took money from our opponent. and what did we give them? Absolutely nothing. plus 80% of the places I went to, which were mainly illiterate slum dwellers, fishermen etc, people told us they will vote for our Candidate, but they did not know his symbol has changed from “Harican” to “ship”! Why? Because our posters were virtually absent in the whole city! Reason? Partly financial, and partly our candidate felt “Ridoye mohiuddin” therapy will work again for the last time. He was in their hearts, but in ballot paper they could not find his symbol, as many didn’t even know!
2. Our whole campaign team had no sense of real issues, i.e. that our money is in absolute short supply cinoared to opponent; that when you fight “money”, you must deploy “muscle” [b];
3. I was shouting about this huge money spreading by opponent from the very beginning of the campaign. I could sense people’s attitude. In some slum areas, they simply responded, “anarosh gave me this much, how much do you offer”!
4. Four people were arrested with stash of Cash on 15th and 16th June after mid night. No step was taken. Firstly police informed us two of the arrested guys were Ship Breaker company’s clerks. So they were released. Our brainless friends in the police just had to use ONE BASIC COMMON SENSE! OUR OPPONENT IS A SHIP BREAKER. ALL SHIP BREAKERS PROVIDED HIM COVER FOR CASH MOVEMENT!
5. Our candidates over reliance on “love”. Because he believed “money cannot buy Love”, I said to him, for a slum dweller two hundred taka for ten minutes in a queue is a massive earning. There is no doubt our candidate is hugely popular, but when your opponent just runs a campaign “take cash, give vote”, love is intact, election is lost.
6. All we needed was to deploy “muscle” power because our opponent had an unlimited supply of Cash. He is a rich businessman, who knows how to buy and sell. I raised it from the time he got nominated. Everyone laughed me away. From close aides of him we got this rough idea, he gave 50 councilor candidates 5 lakhs each = 2.5 crore. Asked them to actively work for him. As BNP put single candidates in 34 wards out of 42, this was easy for them. One single candidate in each ward worked like hell for him! Awami league had four to five candidates in each ward! Result, out 42 wards, 28 BNP councilors, and 3 Jamaat elected! In my own ward, Jamaat won because four AL candidates fought with each other! Add straight cash buy with this, at 200tk each vote, you can buy 300,000 vote for a meager price of 6 crore taka. 6+2.5 Crore, on straight buying, and random cash spreading extra 10 crore taka. For about 18.5 crore taka you can take everything on the table! Easy and simple. For someone who is a Bank chairman, and a rich businessman who believed in “charity”, and who has about 500 crore debt to banks, spreading 18.5 crore, is absolute nothing! Our own intelligence report is, he spend more than twice of that.
7. All we had to do was ask our guys to “act”. No one gave the order. We were a sitting government party, but failed to utilize administration [c] because of reluctance and party division. We could not interrogate or arrest some of the money handlers and recipients utilizing the government administration. We urged our candidate, but once again, HIS FAITH IN PEOPLE resisted him.
8. Voter turnout was very poor. Overall in our last election 68% people came out and voted. This time 54% people voted! Two reasons for this, our campaign’s failure, we could not bring voters out, secondly, the election day. It was on Thursday, a public holiday due to election, and Friday-Saturday, usual weekend. Many working class people just left the city as if it was Eid. Worst affected areas were the Industrial workers zones! In that area, about 45% votes were cast! So our traditional vote block has been absent either because it was almost Eid holiday, or the poor souls themselves felt over confident that their candidate always wins in the industrial area. As an example, in an industrial area vote centre, Bandartilla, which was famous last time, because BNP candidate only got 25 votes out of 1200, this time was a loser for us! This time, out of 1660 voters, only about 400 voted in that centre. We got 178 and opponent 225! This was the biggest ward of the city with 125000 voters. Traditionally the whole ward was Mohiuddin vote bank due to high working class. But we completely lost it because of low turnout, and local MP Mr MA Latif opposed us with two non awami league councilor candidates who actively worked against us. So when that vote bank has been burst, I was sure it will be disaster.
9. Minority vote bank’s absence. Propaganda by high caste minority leaders over a disputed land with City Corporation over last two years damaged minority’s loyalty to our candidate. Out of 2lakh minority vote I feel we only attracted about 50,000. Rest either did not vote or wasted their votes. But I’m sure most did not vote for our opponent. 35thousand ballots were declared invalid for various reasons including, for not casting vote for Mayoral candidate.
10. Party division, this was the reason why our Ward level awami leaguers were inactive. Sitting MPs in City area were all against us. If we had cash, we could have simply bought them. Unfortunately we didn’t have it. On the day of election AL followers fought between them in three centre! RAB had to be called!
11. There was no wave against the “Ship”. There was a hill of cash it could not climb. Result, the ship has sunk!
We received the following from Mr. Mohibul Hassan through a mutual friend:
… pasted my entire note into your website. this was my personal note and was not meant for a website’s cover story. without considering the ethics of putting something on a website without permission, that was unprofessional to the extreme!
and, when i meant utilising adminisitration i meant using them to catch the criminal elements of BNP-Jamaat! and when i meant muscle i meant our volunteer force who should have been pro active in bringing out the voters. if you the administration remains neautral and actually works thats what you call making use of them you dont need to use them like BNP jamaat uses them. but the fact is just the day before the election magistracy power has been seized. so the cash handlers could not even be punished despite being arrested.
1. Mr. Hassan’s note was on Facebook, and open for the whole world to see. Calling it “private” now is a bit too late. We also suspected that the note would disappear once we wrote about it, which is why we decided to reproduce it. Unprofessional? Why? We quoted it and gave full attribution to the author.
2. “administration” and “muscle”: We are happy to include Mr. Hassan’s explanation of those phrases. We only hope that as a lawyer and future leader, Mr. Hassan will choose his words more carefully in the future.
Lastly, our personal thanks to Mr. Hassan for his level-headed response.
J @ Shada Kalo [http://shadakalo.blogspot.com] writes using a pseudonym and is best known for exposing government, military, corporate foul plays through whistle-blowing investigative reports.
[Read posts by J @ Shada Kalo]