A total of 45 lawmakers of the ruling party including two ministers and two state ministers have allegedly supported the rebel chairman candidates of Awami League in four phases of the upazila elections.
The party has decided to take disciplinary action against the MPs and party leaders who worked against the candidates which it had nominated.
A total of 110 were elected ‘unopposed’ in elections to 445 upazila parishads of the country, and 304 candidates were elected with AL’s electoral symbol ‘Boat’ while 136 independent candidates, mostly rebels of the ruling party, won the race. BNP and some other opposition parties boycotted the polls.
While some MPs supported rebel candidates indirectly, some even participated in the campaign snubbing the electoral code of conduct, reports from Prothom Alo correspondents all over the country show. EC even had to order 14 MPs to leave their constituencies ahead of the elections.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina criticised those who worked against the party nominated candidates.
In AL’s working committee meeting on Friday, she has asked eight divisional organising secretaries to make a list of the party leaders who worked against ‘Boat’ candidates, said party sources present at the meeting.
In Kaliakair upazila of Gazipur, liberation war affairs minister AKM Mozammel Haque allegedly supported rebel candidate and upazila AL president Kamal Uddin Sikder. At a press conference, party nominated candidate Rezaul Karim even alleged that Mozammel had participated in the campaign of the rebel candidate. The minister, however, denied the allegation and said he joined a social programme in the upazila while the supporters of rebel candidate chanted slogans supporting Kamal.
In Sreepur upazila of same district, AL nominated candidate lost to rebel candidate. Local sources said that rebel candidate and upazila AL president Shamsul Alam Prodhan got backing of the Gazipur-3 constituency MP Iqbal Hossain.
Rebel candidate Shoiab Ahmed beat AL nominated candidate in Baralekha upazila of Moulvibazar. Shoaib is nephew of environment, forest and climate change minister Shahab Uddin.
In Kurigram’s Roumari upazila, rebel candidate Sheikh Abdullah, allegedly backed by primary and mass education minister Md Zakir Hossain, beat the AL nominated candidate.
State minister for information technology Zonaid Ahmed Palak allegedly supported independent candidate Adesh Ali. Palak denied the claim and said he did not support any candidate in deference to EC directives.
Rebel candidate Anwar Hossain, who got open support of MP Abdul Quddus, beat AL’s candidate in Gurudaspur upazila of Natore. AL nominated candidate of Baraigram upazila Siddiqur Rahman alleged that the MP supported rebel candidate in that upazila too.
Rebel candidate Abdus Sadek, a close associate of MP Rajiuddin Ahmed, won in Narshingdi’s Raipura upazila. Shibpur upazila’s rebel candidate was reportedly supported by MP Zahirul Haque Bhuiyan.
Mahmudus Samad Chwodhury, MP of Sylhet-3 constituency, reportedly supported rebel candidates in two out of three upazilas of his constituency. None of the two could win the race.
Mozammel Hossain, Juba League president of Sunamganj’s Dharmapasha upazila unit beat ‘Boat’ candidate. He is younger brother of MP Moazzem Hossain.
In Moulvibazar’s Kamalganj upazila, MP Abdus Shahid’s younger brother Imtiaz Ahmed contested against ‘Boat’ candidate.
Rebel candidates of AL won Jhenidah’s Shailkupa, three out of four upazilas of Magura, Satkhira’s sadar and Shyamnagar upazila.
In Khulna’s Dumuria upazila, ruling party MP and former minister Narayan Chandra Chanda campaigned in support of AL’s rebel contestant Ezaz Ahmed, alleged ‘Boat’ candidate Mostafa Sarowar.
MP Shahiduzzaman allegedly took position against party nominated candidate in Meherpur’s Gangni upazila.
In Keshabpur upazila, rebel candidate Kazi Rafiqul Islam beat AL candidate reportedly by backing of local MP Ismat Ara Sadek.
Deputy speaker Fazle Rabbi Mia’s nephew Jahangir Kabir contested as rebel candidate in Gaibandha’s Saghata upazila. Neighboring Fulchari upazila’s rebel candidate is also an associate of Rabbi. EC asked him to leave the constituency before elections as he was breaching electoral code of conduct. Refuting the allegation, the deputy speaker maintained that he did not campaign for any candidate.
In Thakurgaon’s Baliadangi upazila, MP Dabirul Islam’s brother contested against the ‘Boat’ candidate and rebel candidate from Haripur upazila, too, got his support.
Rebel candidates of Rangpur’s Mithapukur, Dinajpur’s Birganj and Bagura’s Sariakandi upazila also got blessings of respective MPs.
MP Anwarul Abedin Khan himself campaigned for rebel candidate Hasan Mahmud in Mymensingh’s Nandail upazila.
Local MPs supported rebel candidates of Tangail’s Kalihati, Sakhipur, Basail and Ghatail upazilas. MPs from Chandpur’s Kachua and Faridganj also indirectly supported rebel AL candidates.
Supporters of Bazlul Haque Harun MP reportedly worked for rebel candidate in Jhalokhathi’s Rajapur upazila.
MP Md Shahidul Islam’s brother Ohidul Islam defeated AL candidate in Natore’s Bagatipara upazila. MP claimed that he did not support his brother and he won by his own charisma.
Candidates of AL was defeated by rebel candidates in three upazilas of Barguna. GM Delwar Hossain, AL backed candidate of Amtali upazila told Prothom Alo that local MPs Dhirendra Debnath Shambu and Hachanur Rahman backed two rebel candidates.
Chuadanga MP Solaiman Haque Zoardar supported his brother Riazul Islam Zoardar in Sadar upazila and Anisuzzaman in Alamdanga upazila. Both were rebel candidates of AL.
MP of Chuadanga-2 Ali Asgar backed his brother Ali Monsur and Golam Mortuza in Damurhuda and Jibannagar upazilas. Both were rebel AL candidate.
Local AL MPs reportedly backed rebel candidates in Brahminbaria’s Nabinagar, Lalmonirhat’s Patgram, Netrokona’s Purbadhola, Jashore’s Jhikargacha, Chattogram’s Chandnaish and Lohagara, Cumilla’s Burichong, Barura and Meghna upazila, according to local AL leaders.
AL’s rebel candidate of Titas upazila Parvez Hossain Sarker is relative of local MP Selima Ahmed. Voting of this upazila was suspended due to ballot stuffing on the night before election day.
Deputy leader of parliament Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury’s son Shahdab Akbar Chowdhury backed rebels of the party in Saltha and Nagarkanda upazila of Faridpur.
AL’s acting general secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif told Prothom Alo, “The leaders, especially MPs who worked against the party nominated candidates in local government election will be served show cause notices. Disciplinary action would be taken against them after that.”
*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Galib Ashraf.