"BNP is working hard to build up the party around the country in a democratic manner, and so I decided to contest in the council for the president post as a BNP activist. Within a span of a week, I was able to revive 18 organisational units in Sylhet district. But today I have made this sacrifice for the BNP activists and the people," Ariful said in the briefing.

Many district leaders claimed that a large faction of the party is now led by the BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s advisor Khandaker Abdul Muktadir. The majority of the leaders in different units are from his camp. So, Ariful decided to compete as the president to bring a balance of power in the party. But eventually he was forced to withdraw his candidature, they added.

When contacted, Ariful Haque told Prothom Alo that "I do party politics. I am always dedicated to the party. I have withdrawn my candidature from the president post at the behest of party high-ups. I have no comment beyond this."

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