PM Hasina consulted over Mahiya Mahi’s nomination: Quader

Obaidul Quader and Mahiya MahiFile photo

Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader has said he has talked to party chief and prime minister Sheikh Hasina over the nomination of silver screen actress Mahiya Mahi in the by-election of Chapainawabganj.

The actress has already started campaigning to contest in the election with the ticket of the ruling party.

When his attention was drawn to the issue at a press briefing at the secretariat on Thursday, Obaidul Quader said, “She wants to collect the (nomination) form to be a (ruling) party candidate in Chapainawabganj, where she belongs.”

He quoted prime minister Sheikh Hasina as saying, “She (Mahi) belongs to an Awami League family and she also does the politics of Awami League. Ok, let her collect the form.”

So, is she the candidate of Awami League? Quader, replying to the question, said he cannot confirm it, but she will be allowed to collect the nomination form.

The ruling party candidate – Hosne Ara Lutfa (Dalia) – faced a landslide defeat in the recent Rangpur City Corporation election. Quader said over the issue that the male partymen do not accept a female candidate, so do the outsiders. So where will the women go? Won’t they run in the elections?

About the Rangpur City Corporation election, the Awami League general secretary said the game is not here (local government elections), the real game will be in the general elections.

He, however, blamed the party’s internal issues for the landslide defeat. He said, “Various considerations prevail in the local government elections. The Jatiya Party candidate was ahead in the public opinion survey. The Awami League also has some internal issues. Otherwise, the vote difference would not have been so big.”

Quader also noted that democracy won in the Rangpur election as there was no over-enthusiasm from the side of the ruling party. They are now looking into the party’s internal issues and will take a tough organisational action in this regard within a week.

He further said the candidate was selected unanimously and no mistake took place here. She is a dedicated Awami League activist with no scandal. She is a reputed and established lawyer.