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BNP-Jamaat's drama over electoral symbol allocation

  • Published at 04:50 am November 29th, 2018
File photo: A woman putting ballot paper in a ballot box after casting her vote Dhaka Tribune

The decision regarding which symbol the nominated Jamaat candidates would use to contest in the polls was changed multiple times

BNP and its 20-party alliance member Jamaat-e-Islami engaged in a day-long drama on Tuesday over the allocation of electoral symbols for the upcoming 11th parliamentary election.

The Bangla Tribune has learned that the decision in favour of Jamaat candidates using the BNP symbol was changed multiple times on that day.

Jamaat leaders cannot contest the polls under the party’s own electoral symbol after its registration with the Election Commission was cancelled by a High Court order in October.

According to sources from Jamaat's central executive council, the party had planned to contest the polls with independent candidates until BNP approached the party earlier this month and asked it to contest the election under its “sheaf of paddy” symbol.

In a statement made at the time, BNP Standing Committee Member Barrister Jamiruddin Sarkar said Jamaat candidates would contest the polls as part of the alliance.

Jamaat then sent BNP a list on November 18 of 50 candidates which it wanted to contest the upcoming polls under the BNP symbol. Jamaat’s Nayeb-e-Ameer Golam Parwar said the party would hold further discussion on the electoral symbol issue. 

Also Read- Jamaat to contest election under BNP’s symbol in 25 constituencies

Following a series of discussions this week, BNP and Jamaat reached an agreement allowing Jamaat candidates to stand in 25 constituencies.

According to a Jamaat source present in the meeting held on Tuesday night, however, BNP proposed that Jamaat candidates contest the polls independently but with alliance support.

The differences of the two parties were only resolved at around 10:30pm the same night, when BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul asked Jamaat Secretary General Dr Shafiqur Rahman to participate in the election under BNP’s symbol.

“We are fully prepared to contest in the election under the alliance,” Jamaat’s Nayeb-e-Ameer Golam Parwar said on Tuesday.

The politicians concerned declined to comment on reports that the Oikya Front and its associate parties have objected to the allocation of the “sheaf of paddy” to Jamaat candidates.

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