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Gaibandha 3 polls: AL, alliance partners dominate constituency

  • Published at 08:41 am January 25th, 2019
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Dhaka Tribune

Polls for this constituency were postponed after BNP candidate TIM Fazley Rabbi died 

The parliamentary election in Gaibandha 3 (Sadullapur-Palashbari) constituency, rescheduled by the Election Commission, will be held on January 27.

The election for this constituency was postponed after the BNP-led 20-Party Alliance candidate for Gaibandha 3, TIM Fazley Rabbi, died on December 20. Awami League and its alliance partners are dominating the constituency because no candidates of BNP and Jamaat are contesting the polls.

Although initially district unit BNP President Professor Dr Moinul Hassan Sadik had submitted his nomination paper to the commission, Sadik and two candidates from the Socialist Party of Bangladesh (Basod) and Islami Andolan withdrew their nominations on January 10; over concerns of vote rigging and irregularities.

There are presently five candidates contesting the Gaibandha 3 election. 

Among them, Dr Yunus Ali Sarkar is representing Awami League using the boat symbol, Dilara Khandaker is representing Jatiya Party (Ershad) using the plow symbol, and SM Khademul Islam is representing Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) using the torch symbol.

The other two candidates are Mizanur Rahman Titu, representing National People’s Party using the mango symbol; and independent aspirant Abu Zafar Md Jahid using the lion symbol.

Previous election results from 1973 to 2014 show that BaKSAL won the seat once, and so did Awami League. BNP won in the constituency twice and Jatiya Party six times.

Awami League stronghold

Local election observers mentioned that the Awami League has always had a strong presence in Gaibandha 3. However, Awami League and BaKSAL chose to nominate separate candidates after 1975.

BNP-Jamaat had a habit of supporting JaPa (Ershad) to prevent Awami League from winning the seat. However, during the 10th parliamentary election, six-time lawmaker Fazle Rabbi joined JaPa (Zafar).

Rabbi’s move significantly strengthened Awami League in the constituency. 

Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, Awami League’s Sadullapur unit General Secretary Saharia Khan Biplob said Palashbari unit General Secretary Shamikul Islam Dr Yunus has garnered a lot of popularity in the constituency for his consistent development activities.

Following the death of JaPa (Zafar) candidate Fazley Rabbi, many leaders from both JaPa (Zafar) and JaPa (Ershad) are supporting Dr Yunus in the upcoming election.

Meanwhile, Dr Yunus said: “The popularity of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has revitalized the people. However, a certain quarter is engaged in a conspiracy, knowing that the victory of the boat symbol is inevitable. 

“However, their conspiracy will not be successful.”

What about JaPa and JSD?

The candidates of JaPa (Ershad) and JSD are trying to woo Sadik’s vote bank as he has withdrawn his nomination.

Jatiya Party Presidium Member Dilara Khandaker, who also serves as Chairman HM Ershad’s political adviser, is a relative newcomer to the Gaibandha 3 constituency. However, due to Ershad’s popularity in the region, a candidate from the party has won the previous six terms.

“HM Ershad nominated me, and I am carrying out my election campaign. I hope to win by a landslide.”

JSD candidate SM Khademul Islam has already served as the UP chairman of Faridpur and upazila parishad chairman of Sadullapur. He is optimistic regarding his chances in the upcoming election.

“I am quite popular in the region as a dedicated public representative. My family has several generations of successful politicians. I will achieve a victory for the JSD if a fair and free election is held in this constituency.”

District unit BNP President Professor Dr Moinul Hassan Sadik, who withdrew his nomination on January 10, said: “I cannot participate in an election that has been rigged. I have rejected the upcoming polls. The supporters, leaders, and activists of BNP and Jamaat will not vote.”

The Gaibandha 3 constituency is comprised of 11 unions from Sadullapur and 9 unions from Palashbari upazilas; it is home to 411,854 voters.

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