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Many seek AL ticket, BNP plans lone candidate

12th JS Polls

Published : 07 Sep 2023 10:27 PM

A number of candidates including some heavyweights in the ruling Awami League (AL) are seeking nomination for twelfth Jatiya Sangsad (JS) polls from their party chief Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. 

On the other hand, the name of a lone candidate was heard from the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). The ruling party wants to remain in power keeping the seat in their occupation once again, while the opposition wants to regain the seat that it had lost three terms.

Prospective candidates have started conducting campaigns even at remote villages along with their supporters. The tea-stalls and hotel restaurants initially started doing better business. Although the seat was one of the “reserved kingdoms” for the opposition BNP, it came under the control of the ruling Awami League in 2014.

Concerned citizens in Jhenaidah said there is acute grouping and lobbying in both AL and BNP. Names of a number of intending candidates from AL were heard, while the district level leaders of BNP were saying district committee president Amdul Majid Advocate will  seek nomination from the party chief if the party decides to participate in the national polls. 

The seat is enriched with 453,455 voters where the number of female voters was 212,351 in 15 unions of Jhenaidah Sadar and Jhenaidah municipality and eight unions and a municipality in Harinakundu.

Renowned journalist, Jatiya Party (JP) leader and state minister for information and broadcasting  Anwar Zahid was elected lawmaker from the seat in 1986 for the first time, while BNP Lawmaker Mashiur Rahman was elected for consecutive three terms in 1991, 1996 and 2001. 

An outspoken AL leader, AL Jhenaidah district unit vice president  Shafiqul Islam Apu was elected from the seat in 2008. One of the freedom fighting organizers Nur E Alam Siddiquee’s son Tahjib Alam Siddiquee alias Somi was elected in 2014 as a rebel candidate against AL aspirant and he was later elected for the second time bagging AL nomination in 2018.

A total of 423,523 voters had cast their votes in the eleventh JS Polls in 2018 where Tahjib Alam Siddiquee Somi from ruling AL, Fakhrul Islam of Islami Oikyo Andolon, Abdul Mazid of BNP, Abu Taleb Selim of Jaker Party and Assadul Islam of Bangladesher Samjtantrik Dal (BASAD) had fought. 

The names frequently heard from the supporters and near and dear ones are about Tahjib Alam Siddiquee Somi of AL, Awami League Jhenaidah district committee general secretary and ex municipality mayor Saidul Karim Mintu, ex lawmaker Shafiqul Islam Apu, AL leader Azizur Rahman Advocate, ex-chairman of Jhenaidah district council Kanak Kanti Das, renowned industrialist Naser Shahrier Zahedi Mohul, BNP district committee president Abdul Mazid Advocate and another Ibrahim Rahman Babu, a BNP senior joint secretary and son of ex BNP lawmaker Mashsiur Rahman, Jaker Party leader Rashed Majmader, party’s vice president Major (Retired) Mahbubur Rahman. Of them the names of Tahjib Alam Siddiquee Somi, Saidul Karim Mintu, Shafiqul Islam Apu, Kanak Kanti Das, Naser Shahrier Zahedi Mohul and Abdul Mazid Advocate are widely discussed among the voters.

As the national polls nearing, the criticism about the leaders and party’s central committee is discussed in public. A number of voters discuss that they were not at all satisfied with the performances of the present lawmaker who was elected for continuous two terms. They could not see any visible development during the AL tenures. The matter about grouping and lobbying was at the front line of the mass people discussion. The people of the constituency had witnessed severe internal conflict among the party leaders in past municipality and other polls. 

The party activists and leaders had also witnessed the lack of proper evaluation of the devoted leaders and activists in the last couple of years. They think a new leader should take the helm of the boat when Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been taking the country in the apex height towards building a smart country.

 The leaders in the BNP say they could not decide on participating in the national poll as their central leadership wants to oust the AL government before elections. If the party decides to participate in the polls, they will seek nomination for their district committee president Abdul Majid Advocate.