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Momen or Muktadir— who will win the Sylhet 1 constituency race?

  • Published at 05:01 am December 26th, 2018
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Sylhet 1 constituency Awami League candidate AK Abdul Momen, and his rival BNP candidate Khandaker Abdul Muktadir, among others, are seen slicing a cake for Christmas celebration on December 26, 2018

Legend has it that the party of this constituency’s winner forms the government

With only four days to the 11th general election, both Awami League candidate AK Abdul Momen, and his rival BNP candidate Khandaker Abdul Muktadir, for 

Sylhet 1 constituency, are busily campaigning.

Legend has it that the party of this constituency’s winner forms the government. The constituency consists of Sylhet City Corporation and Sadar upazila. 

“We have been witnessing the trend since independence. But we cannot say at the moment what is going to happen this time,” said Faruk Mahmud Chowdhury, Sylhet chapter chief of the civil society platform Sushasoner Jonno Nagorik (Shujan). 

He said he is not very interested in this election, for numerous reasons, and that panic has gripped voters. 

Momen, the younger brother of Finance Minister AMA Muhith, is confident of his win. 

“Sylhet witnessed a large amount of development in the last 10 years. Some development projects are still pending. I hope voters will vote for the boat symbol [Awami League] to continue the development process,” he said. 

The diplomat said equal opportunities will be ensured for all if Awami League is voted into power again.

Momen is actively campaigning by holding rallies and interacting with the public. 

All local Awami League leaders are campaigning for their candidate, said Momen’s campaign team member Moksud Ahmed. 

Sylhet 1 constituency Awami League candidate AK Abdul Momen, younger brother of Finance Minister AMA Muhith, seen campaigning in the city on December 26, 2018 | Dhaka Tribune

On the other hand, Momen’s rival Muktadir, the adviser to the BNP chairperson, questioned whether there is a level playing field in the election. 

He said there were thrice attempts to arrest him on Sunday. 

“Scores of BNP activists and have been arrested. Leaders and activists are also being threatened to leave their areas. Come what may, we will not leave the field,” Muktadir said. 

Muktadir’s campaign team member, Juned Ahmed, said electioneering has diminished as many fear arrest. However, they are campaigning on social media, he said. 

Former BNP nominee joins Awami League 

Initially, BNP nominated its Vice Chairman Enam Ahmed Chowdhury to contest the December 30 election for this constituency. Later, the party dropped him to nominate Khandaker Muktadir. 

A disgruntled Enam joined Awami League on December 19. 

Muhith not contesting because of his age

Finance Minister AMA Muhith, a two-time MP of Sylhet 1 constituency, is not seeking the seat for a third time due to his old age. His younger brother is contesting the election in his place.

Momen’s background

According to the affidavit, Momen was born on August 23, 1947. He served as permanent representative and ambassador of Bangladesh to the UN from 2009 to 2014. 

Momen was a chairman of business administration and economics department of the Framingham State University in Massachusetts, US. 

His annual income stands at Tk35.89 lakh. 

Sylhet 1 constituency BNP candidate Khandaker Abdul Muktadir seen campaigning for election in the city on December 26, 2018 | Dhaka Tribune

Muktadir’s background

Muktadir is a businessman and owner of six business firms. He was made BNP chairperson’s adviser during the last council of the party. 

According to the affidavit, five cases are pending against him. He secured bail in one of the cases. 

He owns property worth Tk8 crore and his wife has property worth Tk6.24 crore. 

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