The constituency is known as an Awami League stronghold yet the elections are predicted to be hotly contested
BNP and Awami League candidates of the Satkhira 1 constituency are under pressure from their coalition members.
Consisting of 422,898 registered voters spread over the upazilas of Tala and Kalaroa, the constituency has been known as an Awami League stronghold.
Although the Awami League has strong candidates, the Workers’ Party and Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JaSoD) is also fielding some big names of their own.
Similarly, on BNP’s side, Jamaat also have a strong hold in Satkhira 1.
Most of the constituency’s candidates began their campaigns early, with regular meetings and prominent processions.
Strong intra-party competition has been exacerbated by the pressure of the nearing election, with tensions rising.
Awami League’s 18 nomination-aspirants
The main concern in the party is whether the nominated candidate will be from Awami League, or one of its coalition members.
The incumbent MP is Mustafa Lutfullah of the Workers’ Party and he would again appear to be a popular choice.
Moreover, Jatiya Party’s Syed Didar Bakht also has a strong standing within the party.
The Workers’ Party President told an October 28 rally that Lutfullah would represent the coalition again - incensing some Awami League leaders to such an extent that they have organized protest rallies and filed a recommendation not to nominate the incumbent MP.
A total of 18 Awami League candidates have bought nomination forms.
They are: former Satkhira Awami League president and MP Engr Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Satkhira Mohila Awami League Joint General Secretary Laila Parveen Shejuti, former MP BM Nazrul Islam, Satkhira Awami League Joint General Secretary Firoz Kamal Shuvro, Tala upazila Awami League President Sheikh Nurul Islam, district Krishak League President Biswajit Shadhu, Kalaroa upazila Awami League President Firoz Ahmed Swapan, Satkhira Awami League Agricultural Affairs Secretary Sardar Mujib, Advocate Anit Kumar Mukherjee, central Swechcha Sebak League leader SM Amjad Hossain, Jubo League central leader Sardar Rafiqul Islam, Monmoy Monir, Sheikh Amjad Hossain, Kamruzzaman Shohag, Monowara Faruq, Wahidul Islam Shajib, Ahsan Kabir Tutul, and Advocate Md Hossain.
Six BNP contenders
Six candidates in the BNP camp have purchased nomination papers.
The region’s Jamaat-e-Islami candidates have also begun preparing, despite their party having lost its registration with the Election Commission last month.
BNP’s election hopefuls are: BNP central Executive Committee Publication and Publicity Secretary as well as former Satkhira BNP President MP Habibul Islam Habib, his wife Shahanara Parveen Bokul, Dhaka Supreme Court advocate Wasel Uddin, Kalaroa BNP Student Affairs Secretary and municipality mayor Aktarul Islam, central Chhatra Dal Vice President Atiquzzaman Ripon, and central Jatiyatabadi Samajik Sangskritik Sangstha (Jasas) leader journalist Arifuzzaman Mamun.
Most grassroots leaders believe that despite there being a strong Jamaat candidate, Habibul Islam Habib will definitely be the candidate should BNP contest the election.
Jatiya Party’s nomination-aspirants are central leader and former state minister for information Syed Didar Bakht and M Mansur Ali; while JaSoD have central Joint Secretary Sheikh Obaidul Sultan Bablu.
Meanwhile, Jamaat’s central election management committee General Secretary Prof Izzat Ullah is looking to run as an independent candidate after his party’s registration was revoked.