Quit electoral race as couldn’t withstand pressure: Abu Asif

Abu Asif Ahmed returned home on
Prothom Alo

Independent candidate of recently held Brahmanbaria-2 by-polls Abu Asif Ahmed, who mysteriously left the electoral race, said he could not withstand the pressure of the election.

“The election seemed haphazard to me from the beginning. I could not take the pressure as the election day approached. I left the electoral race as I felt too much pressure. I can’t withstand the pressure, so I left the race,” Abu Asif told newsmen after he reached his home in Ashuganj’s Shariatnagar area at around 5:00pm on Thursday.

Abu Asif said he mentally broke down due to pressure. “Now the election ended and that’s why I came back.”

When asked if any quarter pressurized or intimidated him to leave the electoral race, Abu Asif’s wife Meherunnisa Mehrin cut him off.

Meherunnisa told Prothom Alo that she came to know around 11:30am that Abu Asif returned home in Dhaka’s Basundhara. She went to Dhaka after getting the news and returned to Ashuganj at 5:00pm.

Replying to a question, Meherunnisa said no one intimidated her husband and he was in fear out of mental pressure.

Abu Asif is the former president of Ashuganj upazila BNP and chairman of Ashuganj upazila parishad. He was the main opponent of former BNP lawmaker Abdus Sattar Bhuiyan in the by-polls.  Sattar Bhuiyan resigned from the parliament as per BNP’s decision in December last year only to contest again ignoring party’s decision in the by-polls. The ruling party did not field any candidate in the by-polls and many local and central Awami League leaders sought vote for Sattar Bhuiyan.

Asif, who was considered as Sattar’s main opponent, went missing after 11:30pm on 27 January. He left home keeping his cellphone home. After he remained missing for 92 hours, Asif’s wife Meherunnisa wrote to deputy commissioner and returning officer Md Shahgir Alam seeking his whereabouts.

Sattar Bhuiyan was elected unofficially in the by-polls held on Wednesday securing 44,916 votes while Jatiya Party’s Abdul Hamid Bhasani 9,635 votes. Abu Asif got 3,269 votes in the by-polls where 16.1 per cent votes were cast.