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20 August, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Animal sacrifice to blend with poll campaign

RAFIQUL ISLAM AZAD with ABU JAKIR
Animal sacrifice to blend 
with poll campaign

With the next general elections approaching, leaders of both the ruling Awami League (AL) and its arch rival, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), will celebrate Eid-ul-Azha this year while carrying out a hectic election campaign in their respective constituencies.

This Eid for the political leaders will be election-based, and they want to utilise the opportunity to exchange views and carry out an electoral campaign as part of their preparations for the next national polls, likely to be held later this year, according to sources in the AL and the BNP.

The political leaders of both the major parties have been instructed by their high commands to go to their respective areas to celebrate Eid with party leaders and activists and to get involved in carrying out their election campaigns.

Many leaders plan to slaughter more than one animal and offer gifts to the grassroots leaders and activists to share the happiness of Eid-ul-Azha. Again, many leaders would carry out mass contact programmes, including holding ‘uthon boithok’ (‘meetings in the courtyards’) and Eid reunions in their respective areas.

While talking to The Independent, most of the top leaders—prospective party candidates from both the AL and the BNP—said they are going to their respective constituencies to celebrate the forthcoming Eid and take part in the exchange and mass contact programmes.

A senior BNP leader said well-off political leaders and prospective party candidates would exchange Eid greetings as well as carry out an advance election campaign this Eid. He also termed this Eid a warm-up for the political leaders before the next general elections.

BNP secretary-general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir would celebrate his Eid at his village home in Thakurgaon, according to a source close to him.

BNP vice-chairman Shamsuzzaman Dudu said like other years, he would go to his village home in Chuadanga to celebrate the Eid with his near and dear ones and party leaders and activists. He termed the celebrations of Eid with local people an opportunity, particularly for a political leader, to exchange views and carry out mass contact among the people.

The BNP leader, however, said there is no instruction from the party; he believes the political leaders would celebrate Eid at their own constituencies in accordance with their own endeavours and for their own necessities.

BNP joint secretary-general Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal said he would celebrate Eid at his village home at Babuganj in Barishal. He said the BNP leaders would certainly exchange Eid greetings in their respective areas as they do it regularly but did not wish to term this an election-based phenomenon.

Alal said this Eid would be election-based for the ruling AL and its allies in the 14-Party Alliance but not for the BNP. As he said, the party has already made it clear that it will not take part in the polls unless its chairperson Khaleda Zia is freed.

Meanwhile, the AL leaders—especially aspirants for Member of Parliament (MP) posts—would carry out an election campaign in favour of the party symbol ‘nouka’ (‘boat’) in their respective areas centred on Eid-ul-Azha, one of the major Muslim religious festivals.

Insiders said the AL top brass has already directed the leaders and local lawmakers to gear up its organisational activities and election publicity works across the country on a massive scale as part of the preparations for the next polls, slated for 2019.

AL chief and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had directed her party central leaders in the party’s latest working committee meeting at Gana Bhaban to issue instructions at the grassroots leaders to remain alert about the BNP-Jamaat’s conspiracy when they visit their respective constituencies.

Centred on the Eid-ul-Azha festival, the ruling party’s leaders, MPs and aspirants for the posts of MPS would hold ‘uthan boithok’ (courtyard meetings) and mass contact and other programmes to rejuvenate party workers ahead of the next polls, insiders said.

Talking to this correspondent, AL organising secretary Abu Sayeed Al Mahmud Swapan said, “I will celebrate Eid-ul-Azha at my own constituency (Joypurhat-2) and I will definitely carry out an election campaign during my visit.”

AL central working committee member Iqbal Hossain Apu, also an MP aspirant, told The Independent that he has already left Dhaka for Shariatpur to celebrate Eid-ul-Azha. “When I visit my area, I normally seek votes in favour of the ‘nouka’ symbol. If the party chief and PM Sheikh Hasina blesses me with the ‘nouka’ for contesting the next polls, I will secure victory.”

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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.

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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