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5 March, 2018 00:00 00 AM
next general election

BNP allies bargain for 100 seats

Rafiqul Islam Azad
BNP allies bargain for 100 seats

The BNP’s partners in the 20-Party Alliance will demand over 100 seats among the 300 constituencies to contest the next general election, which is likely to be held this December, according to alliance sources. The BNP-led alliance is yet to discuss and complete the seat-sharing arrangement, but the partners want the issue to be settled much ahead of the polls for the sake of preparation, the sources said.

Talking to The Independent, some alliance leaders said that even though the seat-sharing arrangement has not been finalised, they have asked their aspirants to make preparations for the polls. On the other hand, a senior BNP leader said on condition of anonymity that their top tier was concerned about the release of party chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail and only then would meet the alliance leaders to discuss seat sharing. “We are not thinking about the election now as the chairperson is in jail. We are giving priority to her release,” he added.

He further said the alliance would not take part in the polls if their leader (Khaleda) was kept in prison. He disclosed that if the alliance partners sought 100 seats, the party would try to share a maximum of 50 seats.

Some BNP leaders, however, said they were ready for both movement and elections. It would not be a problem to complete seat-sharing arrangements as they would get at least three months time for seat sharing, they added.

Jamaat-e-Islami, a major ally of the BNP-led alliance, wants 60-70 seats alone to fight the 11th parliamentary polls either with BNP tickets or as independent candidates, since the party has lost its registration following a court verdict. This has been confirmed by a central Jamaat leader. A city leader of Jamaat echoed him, saying that they would finally bargain for 50 seats.

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), led by former minister Col (Retd) Oli Ahmed, has already handed over a list of 30 prospective candidates for the next polls.

Jatiya Party (Kazi Zafar) will seek 10 seats, while Bangladesher Jatiya Party (BJP) will ask for five seats. Among others, Jamiyat-e-Ulamaye Islam will seek five seats, Khelafat Majlish three seats, Bangladesh Kallyan Party eight seats, Bangladesh NAP 10 seats, and Jatiya Ganatantrik Party (Jagpa), National Democratic Party (NDP), Bangladesh Muslim League and Islami Oikya Jote will seek two seats each.

Besides, Bangladesh Labour Party, Bangladesh People’s League, NAP Bhasani, National People’s

Party (NPP), Bangladesh Islamic Party, Democratic   League and Sammoyabadi Dal are likely to seek one or two seats each, according to alliance leaders.

Sahadat Hossain, LDP’s senior joint secretary general, confirmed that they have given a list of their prospective candidates to the BNP.

Hossain said the selection of the 20-party candidates would be finalised at an alliance meeting after the release of Khaleda Zia.

The LDP leader, however, said the prospective candidates should be given a signal for making preparations for the next polls.

Kallayan Party chairman Maj. Gen. (Retd) Syed Muhammed Ibrahim said they were giving priority to Khaleda’s release rather than settling the seat-sharing issue.

 He, however, added that they have more than eight aspirants to contest the next polls, but the final decision would be taken in line with the alliance’s decision.

Mostafa Jamal Haider, secretary general of Jatiya Party (Kazi Zafar), said it was still early to make any comments over the party’s candidates. He, however, said that they have some 11 former lawmakers and senior leaders who were eligible to contest the polls.

Barrister Andalib Rahman Partha, chairman of Bangladesher Jatiya Party, said they were not thinking about the party candidates at this moment when the alliance leader (Khaleda) was in jail. “We will sit together after the release of our leader, and the alliance will certainly field candidates who have prospects of winning,” he added.

He said the party has five prospective candidates to fight the next polls. M Golam Mostafa Bhuiyan, secretary general of Bangladesh NAP, said his party has 10 prospective candidates and hoped that the decision on seat sharing would be taken at an alliance meeting after Khaleda’s release.

At the same time, he said the alliance partners should be given a green signal about their candidates so that they can start working for the polls.


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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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