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Madaripur 2 constituency: Awami League mired in feuds, several candidates in BNP

  • Published at 05:57 am October 7th, 2018
madaripur 2
From left- Shajahan Khan, Shahabuddin Ahmed Molla, Helen Zerin Khan, Abu Bakar Siddique Abu Munshi, Habibur Rahman Kawsar Hawlader, Jahandar Ali Jahan, Liakat Khan and Maolana Lokman Hossain Zafri

This constituency is known as a vote bank of the ruling Awami League

The local unit of the Awami League has become mired in internal feuds in Madaripur 2 ahead of the parliamentary election but is still expected to coast to victory in the constituency known as a “vote bank” for the ruling party. 

Awami League candidates have won the seat at every election since 1991 - despite the local party unit being divided in two since 1996.

One group is headed by incumbent Madaripur 2 MP Shajahan Khan, who also serves as the shipping minister and the executive president of the Bangladesh Road Transport Workers Federation.

The other group is led by the party’s Central Organising Secretary AFM Bahauddin Nasim, the MP of neighbouring Madaripur 3 constituency. 

Nasim can command the loyalty of the other prospective aspirant for Awami League in Madaripur 2 this time, the party’s Madaripur district unit president, Shahabuddin Ahmed Molla.

Supporters of these two groups often get involved in clashes and the infighting is so acute, the groups organize party programs separately. The leaders of the two groups share the same stage only when a senior party leader visits the district. 

“I am hopeful of getting the nomination and if elected I will work for the further development of the constituency,” said Shajahan, who visits his constituency every week and attends all programs, including the political events.   

*Since 1991 general elections, Awami League candidates have been winning in Madaripur 2 constituency 

*Since 1996, local Awami League has become divided into two groups – one group is headed by Shajahan Khan while the other group led by Bahauddin Nasim

*Awami League won six times, BNP twice, and Jatiya Party and independent candidate each won once in all the elections held in this constituency since independence.  

The five-time MP is working for the development of the constituency and his supporters hope he will again win the party ticket to contest the election.  

“I am relentlessly working for the development of the constituency, but much work is still to be done. I hope the Awami League will form the government by winning in the election and continue the development projects.”  

Madaripur 2 falls under Rajoir and parts of sadar upazila and has 329,181 registered voters. Local leaders say even if BNP contests the elections scheduled to be held by the end of December, the Awami League will win by a large margin. 

However, local BNP leaders think there will be a tight race if the playing field is level. 

“If the election is free and fair then BNP will sweep to victory,” the former MP of the seats reserved for women, Helen Zerin Khan, said. 

BNP’s other prospective candidates from this constituency include Madaripur district unit’s President Abu Bakar Siddique Abu Munshi, district unit’s General Secretary Jahandar Ali Jahan, businessman Habibur Rahman Kawsar Hawlader, and Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal leader Milton Boidya.  

Candidates from other parties are Jatiya Party’s Liakat Khan, and Maolana Lokman Hossain Zafri from Islami Andolan Bangladesh.  

In total, Awami League has won Madaripur 2 six times, BNP twice, and Jatiya Party and an independent candidate once each in all the elections held in this constituency since independence. 

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