Kushtia-2: JASAD in discomfort as AL halts 'paid campaign service' for Inu

Local leaders and activists of the ruling Awami League (AL) have decided to cancel their ‘paid electoral campaign service’ for Hasanul Haq Inu, president of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JASAD) and potential candidate of the 14-party alliance for Kushtia-2 constituency (Bheramara-Mirpur).

The AL men said they provided the paid service to JASAD and its leader Hasanul Huq Inu for 15 years straight, and it is over now. This time, no paid campaign service will be extended to them, even if Inu runs with the ruling party’s boat symbol.

Such a decision has left the JASAD in a tight spot as they fear difficulties in local politics due to the ruling party men’s non-cooperation. Now, they demand a quick solution to the situation.

Hasanul Huq Inu, who won the constituency three times in a row with the boat symbol, submitted his nomination as a JASAD candidate. However, he would eventually run with the boat symbol thanks to negotiations with Awami League, according to party sources.

There is no pressure on me; rather, all are encouraging me. He (Inu) is a national leader and will contest in the election with the boat symbol if he gets it. I will also remain in the field for the people
Mirpur upazila AL general secretary and independent candidate Kamarul Arefin

In the electorate, a feud developed between AL and JASAD supporters as Inu has been holding the constituency for 15 years. Their rivalry turned acute recently, and local AL men have been supporting the party's Mirpur upazila unit general secretary Kamarul Arefin as their candidate for the upcoming election.

Kamarul even resigned as the Mirpur upazila parishad chairman to run in the parliamentary polls.

Ahammed Ali, general secretary of JASAD’s Mirpur upazila unit, voiced concern over the issue, saying, “A type of confusion is at play among the leaders and activists due to the independent candidacy of Kamarul. It is too difficult to say what will happen if the issue is not settled. We also are thinking of the issue.”

There are different sorts of speculations if Kamarul Arefin would eventually manage to survive and what could be the next scenario.

The JASAD is somewhat active in Bheramara upazila but completely inactive in Mirpur. Against such a backdrop, the party is now in a quite disadvantageous position as its ‘key electoral player’ Kamarul is campaigning for his own election.

Hasanul Huq Inu has long been saying that he wants to see no posted ruling party leaders as an independent candidate in the constituency.

Conversations with local leaders revealed that Kamarul played a significant role in ensuring the victory of the boat symbol in the previous elections. He, along with all followers, worked devotedly in favour of 14-party alliance candidate Hasanul Huq Inu.

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This time, the ruling party followers decided that they will provide no paid campaigning service to the JASAD, rather will work for their own candidate.

Abdul Halim, president of Mirpur upazila Awami League, described Kamarul as their own candidate and vowed to work in a coordinated manner to ensure his win.

“All leaders and activists will work unitedly for him (Kamarul). We no longer want to provide paid service to anyone. We need our own MP to save our organisation,” he said.

Golam Mohshin, president of JASAD’s Kushtia district unit, said the ruling party men will work in favour of Hasanul Huq Inu if he secures the boat symbol. But the issue of independent candidates is providing a different message to the leaders and activists.

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Shamimul Islam, general secretary of Bheramara upazila Awami League, also endorsed the candidacy of Kamarul and said they will remain in the electoral field as the party chief is yet to put any restrictions on the independent candidates.

Kamarul Arefin said he is in a relaxed mood. Not only the Awami League men but also general people love him and he wants to give them returns.

“There is no pressure on me; rather, all are encouraging me. He (Inu) is a national leader and will contest in the election with the boat symbol if he gets it. I will also remain in the field for the people,” he added.