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UZ polls: 6 AL men to vie for each seat Intra-party feud feared

Published : 23 Feb 2024 01:42 AM

At least half a dozen aspirants of the ruling Awami League are running campaigns in each seat to contest the upcoming Upazila Parishad polls slated for May.

Locals say that the number of candidate increases as the ruling camp has decided not to nominate any candidate to contest the polls with ‘Boat Symbol’, the electoral symbol of the AL. 

They also fear that intra-party feud may also rise during the polls as contestants will put their best effort to win the elections by any means. 

The Election Commission has already announced the upazila parishad poll schedule to be conducted in four phases. The first phase elections to 108 upazilas will be held on May 4 while the second phase will be held on May 11, third phase on May 18 and the fourth phase elections will be held on May 25.

Grassroots leaders of the Awami League and Bangladesh Nationalist Party say that upcoming elections to the local government bodies will be a competitive one as no parties will field candidate with their symbols.

Against the campaign of ruling party leaders, the grassroots leaders of the BNP, which boycotted the last January 7 general polls, have also started campaigning to vie the race as the elections would not be held under the partisan manner. 

Talking to Bangladesh Post, locals of different districts say that at least six grassroots leaders of the ruling camp are running campaign to woo the voters. 

Apart from the ruling party leaders, names of the BNP leaders are also in the air and they are too running campaigns.

Over 50 aspirants of the AL are running campaign in nine upazilas of Rajshahi district. They are trying to draw the attention of the voters through posters and banners. As a result, local leaders of the nine upazilas— Mohanpur, Bagmara, Durgapur, Godagari, Tanore, Poba, Putia, Charghat and Bagha-- have already been divided into several groups.

The same scenario prevails in 13 upazilas of Kishoreganj district. Upazila level leaders of Hossainpur, Pakundia, Kotiadi, Bajitpur, Tarail, Karimganj, Itna, Mitamoin, Bajitpur and Bhairab have been divided into groups.

Many aspirants are trying to take blessings of the lawmakers while some are trying to manage the central leaders to win the race. 

AL general secretary Obaidul Quader on Tuesday said that leaders of the BNP and other parties may participate in the Upazila Parisahd polls.

In that case, if the grassroots think for fielding a single candidate to ensure win, they can take the option, he told reporters at a briefing. 

“But, all must be aware so that no one can win the elections unopposed,” he added. 

Sources in the BNP say that they are yet to take any decision in this regard as they are now thinking of releasing its leaders, languished in jails on various charges. 

They also said that the BNP might allow its aspirants to vie the race as the polls will not be held under the partisan manner. 

The government in 2015 enacted a local government law paving ways for the aspirants of chairmen candidate to contest the polls with symbols of the registered political parties.

At a meeting of the Awami League Central Working Committee on January 22, AL president Sheikh Hasina decided not to award the Boat symbol to any candidate to the party leaders to ease the brewing commotion in the grassroots.

There are 492 upazilas in the country. According to Section 17(1) (Ga) of the Upazila Parishad Act 1998, upazila parishad elections should be held within 180 days of the expiration of the tenure of previous upazila parishad.

Elections to the following upazilas ---Khetlal, Kali and Akelpur in Joypurhat, Sariakandi, Sonatola and Gabtoli in Bogura, Nachole, Gomastapur and Bholahat in Chapainawabganj, Dhamerhat, Patnitola, Mohadebpur and Badalgachhi in Noagaon, Godagari, and Tanore in Rajshahi, Natore Sadar, Noldanga and Singra in Natore, Sirajganj Sadar, Kazipur and belkuchi in Sirajganj, Santhia, Sujanagar and Bera in Pabna, Panchagarh Sadar, Tentulia and Atoria in Panchagarh, Baliadangi and Haripur in Thakurgaon, Domar and Dimla in Nilphamari, Ghoraghat, Hakimpur and Birmapur in Dinajpur,  Patgram and Hatibandha in Lalmonirhat, Kawnia and Pirgachha in Rangpur, Roumari, Char Rajibpur and Chilmari and Kurigram, Saghata and Fulchari in Gaibandha, Meherpur Sadar and Mujibnagar in Meherpur, Khoksa, Kushtia Sadar and Kumarkali in Kushtia,  Jibannagar and Damurhuda in Chuadanga, Jhenaidah Sadr and Kaliganj in Jhenaidha,  Manirampur and Keshabpur in Jessore, Magura Sadar and Sripur in Magura, Kalia in Narail, Bagerhat Sadr, Rampal and Kachua in Bagerhat, Kaliganj and Shyamnagar in Sathkhira, Barishal Sadar and Bakerganj in Barishal, Motbaria and Bhandaria in Pirojpur, Dohar, Nawabganj and Keraniganj in Dhaka, Gopalganj Sadar, Kotalipara and Tungipara in Gopalganj, Narayanganj Sadar and Bandar in Narayanganj, Gazipur Sadar, Kaliganj and Kapasia in Gazipur, Kalukhali and Pangsha in Rajbari, Singair and Harirampur in Manikganj, Charbadrasan, Madhukhali and Faridpur Sadar in Faridpur, Madaripur Sadar, Shibchar and Rajoir in Madaripur, Naria and Bedarganj in Shariatpur, Narsingdi Sadar and Polash in Narsingdi, Dhanbari, Madhupur and Gopalpur in Tangail, Munshiganj Sadar and Gazaria in Munshiganj, Kishoreganj Sadar, Hosenpur and Pakundia in Kishoreganj, Haluaghat, Dobaura and Fulpur in Mymensingh, Jamalpur Sadar and Sarishabari in Jamalpur, Jhenaigati and Sribardi in Sherpur and Durgapur and Kalmakanda in Netrakona—will  be held in the first phase.