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13 September, 2019 12:38:16 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 13 September, 2019 05:43:26 PM
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AL likely to leave Rangpur-3 seat for Jatiya Party

Abu Jakir, Dhaka
AL likely to leave Rangpur-3 seat for Jatiya Party

The Awami League (AL) is likely to leave the Rangpur-3 constituency for its electoral ally, the Jatiya Party (JP), which is now the main opposition in Parliament. The seat fell vacant after the death of HM Ershad.

The by-election for the parliamentary constituency will be held on October 5.

Several central leaders told this correspondent that there is a possibility that the Rangpur-3 seat will be left for the Jatiya Party. They said the party president, Sheikh Hasina, discussed the matter at the party’s parliamentary board meeting, which was held at her official residence Gono Bhaban on Saturday. She was positive about leaving the parliamentary seat for the JP.

When contacted, BM Mozammel Haque, organising secretary of the AL and in charge of Rangpur division, said no final decision has been taken.

“But there is a strong possibility that the seat will be left for the JP,” he added.

Seeking anonymity, a central leader of the AL told The Independent that the party high-ups want to clear the way for the JP candidate, Rahgir Al Mahi (Shad Ershad), son of former military strongman HM Ershad, in the by-polls.

He described this as the desire of Sheikh Hasina. Besides, the Rangpur-3 constituency has remained in control of the JP for the past 30 years. So, it should be given to the JP, he said.  

Talking to the media, AL general secretary Obaidul Quader yesterday said that if the Jatiya Party wants to contest the Rangpur-3 by-polls as a Grand Alliance partner, the AL will consider the matter. “In the last general election, the JP contested from the seat as an alliance partner. But now, it’s the opposition party in Parliament. If the party wants to participate in the by-polls independently, it’s their matter. But if the party wants to contest as part of the alliance, the AL will consider it,” he told reporters after attending an agreement-signing ceremony at Setu Bhaban.

Quader, also the road transport and bridges minister, said no discussion has been held in this regard yet, noting that the AL has selected a candidate to contest the Rangpur-3 by-polls.

Earlier, JP chairman GM Quader had told the media that they are negotiating with its electoral ally, the Awami League, to clear the way for the JP candidate in the Rangpur-3 by-election. “Nagotiation is on with the AL. We can’t say anything right now. We spoke to them on the issue, but couldn’t reach any consensus as of now,” he had told reporters at the party’s Banani office on Monday.

The JP has held the Rangpur-3 seat since 1986. Its founding chairman, Ershad, won from the seat in the last two elections in 2014 and 2018.

The AL did not nominate any candidate to contest from the seat in either of the two elections.

The nomination for the Rangpur-3 seat, alongside the tussle for the party’s reins between Ershad’s widow Raushan and brother Quader had threatened to split the Jatiya Party. But the row was resolved after the two agreed to split leadership duties between them.

The last date for withdrawal of candidature is September 16.

The Election Commission on Wednesday declared the names of seven valid candidates for the by-polls. They are: Awami League-nominated candidate advocate Rezaul Karim Razu, Jatiya Party (JP)-nominated candidate Rahgir Al Mahi Saad Ershad, BNP-nominated candidate Rita Rahman, independent candidate Hossain Mokbul Shahriar Asif, Shafiul Alam of the National People’s Party, Muhammad Shahidullah of Gano Front and Tauhidur Rahman Mandal Raju of Khelafat Majlish.

MK/BK

 

 

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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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