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8 January, 2018 00:00 00 AM

Prospective candidates busy wooing voters for next JS polls

Golam samdani, Tangail
Prospective candidates busy wooing voters for next JS polls

The ruling Awami League (AL) is ahead of its arch rival, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), in its campaigning for the next general elections in Tangail district.

Aspirants from the AL are currently engaged in hectic lobbying to garner party tickets. Many aspirants are also busy establishing mass contact. BNP leaders, in contrast, are confined to parlour politics. The BNP aspirants have not been seen holding public meetings yet. However, the BNP’s candidates hope to take advantage of the AL’s factional feuds while contesting the polls.

The Jatiya Party (JP) does not seem to have much of an impact on the voters.

There are 12 upazilas in Tangail district, covering eight constituencies. More than 100 aspirants of the AL, the BNP and the JP are in the race to get tickets of their respective parties in the district. The aspirants have announced their candidature by putting up multi-coloured posters and billboards and by attending various social and religious functions. Villagers are busy discussing their candidates for the upcoming polls. Tangail-1 constituency is constituted by Madhupur and Dhanbari upazilas. There are 3,14,272 voters in this constituency.

AL MPs were elected from the constituency in 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2008 and 2014, JSD in 1973, and an Independent in 1998. A BNP candidate was elected in 1979. The AL is in a strong position in the constituency. The nomination of AL presidium member and former minister, Dr Abdur Razzaque, MP, is thought to be certain. Yet, upazila chairman of Madhupur and the secretary of the upazila unit of the AL, Sarower Alam Khan, central AL leader Shamsunnahar Chapa and Square Hospital Ltd director Dr Sanower Hossain have all thrown their hats in the ring. Theatre artiste and producer Siddik Hossain, too, has announced his candidature at a public meeting. He will seek an AL nomination. Sgt (retd) Mohammad Ali and Nurul Islam Raj are trying to get the JP ticket. Abu Sayeed Khan of JP (Monju) will also contest. BNP central leader Fokir Mahbub Anam Sawpan, who got the BNP ticket in the past two elections, is a probable candidate. Former mayor of Madhupur municipality Sarker Shahidul Islam, Supreme Court lawyer Mohammad Ali, expatriate engineer Abdul Latif and BNP leader Rezaul Karim are the other aspirants for the BNP ticket. Fokir Mahbub Anam is considered an outsider as he is a resident of Bhuapur upazila.

Tangail-2 constituency is constituted of Goplapur and Bhuapur upazilas. It has been learned from EC sources that there are 3,49,067 voters in this constituency.

The AL secured the seat in 1970, 1973, 1996, 2008 and 2014, BNP nominees were elected in 1989, 1991 and 2001, a JP lawmaker was elected in 1996 and a JSD candidate was elected in 1998. As the sitting AL lawmaker Khondoker Asaduzzaman, a retired secretary, has become old, his son Mosiuzzaman Romel is in the fray now. Among others, joint secretary of Tangail district AL Asrafuzzaman Smriti, Col. (retd) Mirza Harunur Rashid, Bhuapur upazila chairman Abdul Halim, Bhuapur municipality mayor Masudul Hoque Masud, Gopalpur upazila chairman Younus Islam Talukder and district AL leader Tanvir Hasan are all trying to bag the AL ticket.

Central BNP vice-president Abdus Salam Pintu, who is in jail in connection with the 21 August grenade attack, was a probable candidate. In his absence, Sultan Salah Uddin Tuku, secretary of the central Juba Dal and Salam’s kin, and former mayor of Bhuapur municipality Abdul Kahaleque Mondol, are vying for the BNP ticket. Shamsul Hoque Sanu is the JP (Ershad) candidate and Aziz Bangal is the JP (Monju) candidate.

In Tangail-3 (Ghatail) constituency, which currently has 2,83,843 voters, AL leader Shamsur Rahman Khan Shahjahan was elected in 1973 and 1986. He was also nominated in 1991, 1996 and 2001, but was defeated by his cousin, BNP leader Lutfor Rahman Khan Azad. Dr Motior Rahman got the AL ticket in 2008 and was elected, beating Lutfor Rahman Khan Azad. Motior Rahman died in 2012. AL leader Alhaj Amanur Rahman Khan Rana was elected as an Independent candidate defeating the official AL candidate Shahidul Islam Lebu. Rana got the nomination in 2014 and was elected unopposed. He is currently in jail in the freedom fighter (FF) and AL leader Farook Ahmed murder case. He has been expelled from the AL.

AL is sharply divided into factions in the constituency. One faction is led by Rana and the other by the convener of the upazila AL, Shahidul Islam Lebu. Rana’s three brothers, who held big posts, have also been expelled from the AL. No-one dared to come out in public as a candidate while Rana was free. Now many candidates are busy in mass contact programmes and attending various political, social and religious functions. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Medical University vice-chancellor (VC) and Professional Co-ordinated Parishad secretary Dr Kamrul Hasan Khan, AL leader Shahidul Islam Lebu, Tanvir Rahman (son of ex-MP Motior Rahman), the district law affairs secretary AL S Akbor Khan, deputy attorney-general Shahidul Islam and industrialist Tuhin Abdullah (who has migrated to the AL from the JP) are all strong aspirants for the AL ticket. Lutfor Rahman Khan Azad is the only candidate of the BNP. He is trying to take advantage of factionalism in the AL. Sujat Ali and Abdul Halim are JP (Ershad) candidates.  Tangail-4 (Kalihati) constituency, with 2,80,748 voters, is renowned as the home place of the organisers of Liberation War, former president Justice Abu Sayed Chowdhury, Abdul Latif Siddiki and Shahjahan Siraj. Abdul Latif Siddiki has been expelled from the party for making derogatory remarks on the holy Hajj. AL candidates were elected in 1973, 1996, 2008 and 2014, the BNP nominees in 1979, 1991 and 2001 and the JSD won the poll in 1996. Independent candidate Laila Siddika was elected in 1986 when Abdul Latif Siddiki was in jail. Following Abdul Latif Siddiki’s expulsion, Hasan Imam Sohel Hazari was elected in a byelection. Hasan Imam Sohel Hazari, the chairman of Kalihati upazila, Mazharul Islam Talukder, ex-deputy leader of the defunct Rokkhi Bahini, diplomat Anowarul Alam Shaheed and Engineer Liakot Ali are AL aspirants. Shahjahan Siraj, Lutfor Rahman Motin and Rabeya Siraj are trying to get the BNP ticket.


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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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