Aspirants include two current and one former MP, and the sister of murdered lawmaker Liton
Nine women aspirants are vying for nominations to contest the 11th general election in four of the five constituencies in Gaibandha district.
Of the aspirants, six are seeking the support of the ruling Awami League, while two are from Jatiya Party and one from BNP.
In Gaibandha 1 (Sundarganj) constituency, the Awami League’s district unit vice-president Syeda Masuda Khaza and the party’s Sundarganj upazila unit senior joint convener Afruza Bari have submitted nomination forms.
Afruza Bari is the elder sister of the late Awami League MP Manjurul Islam Liton, who was shot dead in his village home in Sundarganj’s Masterpara on December 31, 2016.
She contested the by-election which followed her brother’s death, but lost to a rival from the Jatiya Party.
“I have sought the nomination to run for the election and become an MP so that I can continue the development projects initiated by my late brother Liton,” she said.
Incumbent MP and Parliament Whip Mahbuba Ara Begum Gini collected the nomination paper for Gaibandha 2 (Sadar) constituency.
In Gaibandha 3 (Sadullapur and Palashbari upazilas), Awami League forms have been bought by Umme Kulsum Smriti, an MP from the reserved seats for women; and by Shyamali Akhtar, the Mohila League Palashbari upazila unit chief.
Finally for the Awami League, Fahima Akhtar Rita has bought a nomination paper for Gaibandha 5 (Saghata-Phulchhari) constituency.
For BNP, the former MP of reserved seats for women Rawshan Ara Farid has bought a nomination paper for Gaibandha 2 and 3 constituencies. “I will win in the election if it is free and fair,” she said.
Jatiya Party Presidium Member Dilara Khandaker Shilpi and Sadullapur upazila parishad Vice Chairman Akhtar Banu Lucky have collected nomination papers for Gaibandha 3.
“If elected an MP I will work for the development of the area,” Dilara said.
Local women activists have lauded the participation of so many female aspirants in the election races.
“This is a positive sign that women are becoming confident in all spheres of life,” said Riktu Prasad, general secretary of Bangladesh Mohila Parishad Gaibandha chapter.