• Thursday, Feb 02, 2023
  • Last Update : 09:54 am

Jamaat hopes to make a stand with Sylhet city polls

  • Published at 04:26 pm July 15th, 2018
web-sylhet-city-mayor-candidate-adv-jubayer-photo-11-07-18-2-1531671744239.jpg
Jamat's mayoral candidate in Sylhet City Corporation polls, speaking during his campaignMohammed Serajul Islam

Jamaat's anti-government movement during the trial and death penalties of its leaders for war crimes of 1971 was strong in Sylhet, party members said. They said there were fewer clashes with the law enforcement in the district, although many leaders and activists are facing cases

Jamaat-E-Islami is floating its own mayor candidate in the Sylhet City Corporation election, in clear opposition to its ally BNP despite having worked together in the region for years.

Party insiders are saying this is part of Jamaat's plan to make its presence known ahead of the national election. 

The party believes that outside of Chittagong, Sylhet is one of their stronger bases. 

Jamaat's anti-government movement during the trial and death penalties of its leaders for war crimes of 1971 was strong in Sylhet, party members said. They said there were fewer clashes with the law enforcement in the district, although many leaders and activists are facing cases.

The party is looking at the Sylhet city polls as an opportunity to demonstrate organizational strength and consolidate the ranks. It wants to reverse the impression in the political arena that Jamaat is crippled organizationally, insiders said.

The local Jamaat members showed up in throngs when Jamaat city unit chief Ahsanul Mahbub Jubayer opened his central campaign office in the city's Electric Supply Road.

He is running for mayor under the banner of Nagorik (citizen's) Forum.

The candidate has said many times is that Jamaat's priority is to take part in the election and the victory is not important. He said Jamaat candidates would be taking part in more local elections in the future.

Division apparent

With this strategy in mind, the party pushed its ally BNP hard to back its candidate in the Sylhet city polls, but to no avail.

For the first time in 22 years, a visible rift has formed between the staunch allies.

A Jamaat leader seeking anonymity said the party had asked BNP to let them float their candidate in this city, having backed the BNP candidates in 10 out of the 11 cities.

“BNP did not keep our request. We were displeased but not frustrated,” he said.

At a recent press briefing in Sylhet, senior BNP leader Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury said outgoing mayor and BNP central leader Ariful Haque Chowdhury was the candidate nominated by the 20-party Alliance, while Ahsanul was running independently.

Despite his message, BNP and Jamaat in Sylhet clearly appear to have moved away from each other.

The two parties are doing their own campaigns. Arif and Ahsanul have both met leaders of other allied parties, seeking their support.

Among the allies, Khelafat Majlish has a strong voter base in the city. Khelafat Sylhet unit Joint Secretary Delwar Hossain said the party was backing the alliance mayor candidate Ariful.

A small voter base

Jamaat-e-Islami contended the Sylhet 1 parliamentary seat in the 1996 elections. Their candidate, the party's Secretary General Shafiqur Rahman, bagged 18,029 votes or about 10% of the 183,880 that were cast, coming in third.

Awami League won the seat that time. After that election, Jamaat joined in alliance with BNP and has so far contended elections together.

Jamaat leaders said by their estimate they have about 5% of the votes in Sylhet. For 321,732 registered voters in the city, that is roughly 16,000 voters.

“In 1996 we got 10% of the votes in Sylhet 1. The city was smaller back then, and it had fewer voters,” Jamat's mayor candidate Ahsanul said.

“Now the party is in a strong position and people have more sympathy towards us,” he claimed.

However, Ahsanul said the election would not affect the relationship between Jamaat and BNP.

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail