BNP outcasts are not getting support of party activists

BNP logo

The expelled Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leaders and activists, who are contesting in the upazila elections, are not getting the support of the party activists. These candidates are running their electoral campaigns with relatives, well-wishers and a handful of supporters. However, in some places, these expelled leaders have the support of a faction of local BNP.

Elections to some 139 upazilas are being held today, Wednesday, in the first phase of the upazila polls. Some 75 leaders and activists from the key opposition party are running for the posts of upazila chairman and vice-chairman in this phase. All of these candidates have already been expelled from the party for joining the polls going against party decision.

Three of the expelled leaders are contesting the polls in Rowmari upazila in Kurigram. They are – incumbent Rowmari upazila parishad chairman and former upazila BNP vice-president Iman Ali, upazila BNP member Sekandar Ali and upazila Mohila Dal president Tazmin Nahar. Iman Ali is contesting for the post of upazila chairman and Sekandar Ali and Tazmin Nahar are contesting for the vice-chairman posts.

No one from BNP was seen participating in their electoral campaign after they were expelled from the party. They ran their campaign with their relatives and well-wishers.

Speaking to newspersons, district BNP joint general secretary Hasibur Rahman told Prothom Alo that those who are taking part in the polls have betrayed the party. They don’t have any relation with the BNP anymore. So there is no question of helping them in the upazila polls.

Also Read

It has been learnt that despite the expulsion of BNP leaders for joining the polls, many BNP leaders and activists are still in a fix with the upazila polls in several areas.

Indurkani upazila in Pirojpur is one such place. Three Awami League leaders are contesting for the chairman post against former upazila BNP general secretary Faizul Kabir Talukder.

This upazila is considered a hub for the supporters BNP and Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami. Faizul Kabir’s brother Ekramul Kabir Talukder was elected the chairman in the first ever upazila parishad elections in 2009. Late Jamaat leader Delwar Hossain Sayeedi’s son Masud Sayeedi was elected the chairman in 2014. Upazila Awami League president M Matiur Rahman was elected the chairman after both BNP and Jamaat boycotted the upazila polls in 2019. He is running for the polls this time too. Two other Awami League leaders – Ziaul Ahsan Gazi and Sheikh Abul Kalam Azad have also become chairman candidates.

Also Read

According to the locals, Faizul Kabir has some advantages against the three Awami League leaders. However, it depends on whether the supporters of Jamaat and BNP show up at the polling stations on voting day or not. Meanwhile, Faizul Kabir is struggling after being expelled from the party.

Speaking regarding this to Prothom Alo, Indurkani upazila BNP general secretary Alamgir Kabir said the BNP leaders and activists had been asked to refrain from casting votes.

Faizul Kabir Talukder has served as the general secretary of upazila BNP for a long time. He might get some votes as people still consider him a BNP leader.

The BNP leaders are not withdrawing from elections even after being expelled. The main reason behind this is the fact that no one is competing with the boat symbol in the upazila polls, which resulted in several chairman candidates from the Awami League in most of the upazilas. There are several AL candidates in all the upazilas where BNP candidates are contesting. Considering these two facts, the expelled BNP are seeing a chance to come out victorious.

In both the Dirai and Shalla upazilas of Sunamganj, there are seven chairman candidates from the governing Awami League. They will be contesting against two expelled BNP leaders, one each in Dirai and Shalla upazila.

The chairman candidates from the Awami League in Dirai upazila include upazila AL general secretary Pradip Roy, district AL law affairs secretary Azadul Islam, upazila Jubo League president Ranjan Kumar Roy and district Mahila Awami League vice-president Ripa Sinha.

Upazila BNP’s expelled organising secretary Md Golap Mia will be competing against them.

In Shalla, Sunamganj district AL former vice-president and incumbent upazila chairman Abani Mohan Das, Jubo League leader and incumbent upazila vice-chairman Dipu Ranjan Das and AL supporter SM Shameem are contesting for the post of upazila chairman. Expelled president of Shalla BNP Ganendra Chandra Das will be contesting against them.

Speaking to the locals, it has been learnt that Ganendra Chandra Das has the support of local BNP activists. However, no one is showing that openly.

Speaking to Prothom Alo regarding the upazila polls, chairman of Bahara union parishad in the upazila, Bishwajit Chowdhury said there are no party nominated candidates in the upazila polls. So people are focusing on the candidates rather than the parties.

Also Read

It is learnt that many of the BNP activists are working for the expelled leaders covertly out of the fear of getting expelled from the party.

However, BNP has remained firm on their stance to boycott the upazila elections. Even on Tuesday, BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi distributed leaflets among people urging them to boycott the polls.

“We believe that the people will reject all phases of upazila polls. This is a farce in the name of an election,” he said.

[Prothom Alo correspondents from respective areas have helped prepare this report]