These rebels are the only key rivals that the Awami League nominated candidates are facing in the upazila election
Many Awami League nominated candidates are contesting the Upzila Parishad (UP) election in Rajshahi against rebel candidates from the same party.
Both nominated and rebel candidates engaged in intense electioneering until the deadline for campaigning ended on Friday. Some supporters of rebel candidates alleged that their campaigning activities were disrupted by the AL-nominated ones.
The first phase of the 5th Upazila Parishad polls is slated for Sunday. There are nine upazilas in Rajshahi, but election will be held in eight of them. Polls in Poba upazila have been postponed due to legal complication.
Chairman candidates Layeb Uddin Lavlu and Abdus Salam have already won uncontested in Bagha and Mohanpur upazilas respectively. Rebel ruling party candidates are opposing nominated candidates in six of the eight remaining upazilas.
These rebels are the only key rivals that the Awami League nominated candidates are facing in the upazila election.
In Puthia upazila, only the ruling party nominated candidate was seen engaging in electioneering. His opposition neither participated in electioneering, nor plastered the walls with posters.
Awami League’s GM Heera Bachchu is being opposed by Jatiya Party’s Md Ansar Ali. However, Ansar Ali’s presence during the campaign period was almost invisible compared to Bachchu’s intense electioneering.
Four candidates are contesting the Upazila Parishad polls in Godagari. Awami League nominated candidate Jahangir Alam is set to battle it out with his key rival Bodiuzzaman, who is also a ruling party leader.
Jahangir serves as the president of upazila unit of ruling party wing Jubo League, while rebel candidate Bodiuzzaman serves as the president of upazila unit Awami League. Both of them had engaged in intense electioneering. However, there are allegations of disrupting the polls campaign of the opposition against supporters of Jahangir.
Jahangir Alam, however, claimed the electoral atmosphere in Godagari is peaceful.
Jahangir said: “There are no rebel candidates of Awami League in Godagari. The person, who violated party discipline to contest the polls, has already been suspended.
Rebel candidate Bodiuzzaman said: “I am contesting the polls because I have the support of local grassroots-level leaders and activists. If a fair election is held, I will surely win.”
Jatiya Party candidate Advocate Salahuddin Biswas and Workers Party aspirant Saidur Rahman are also contesting the polls in Godagari.
Many believe that the most rousing electoral battle for Upazila Parishad polls will take place in Tanore upazila. Awami League nominated Lutfor Haidar Rashid Moyna for this upazila, who serves as the president of local unit Jubo League president.
Moyna’s key rival in the polls is former president of Tanore upazila Jubo League Shariful Islam, who is contesting on Workers Party’s ticket.
Both candidates are optimistic about their chances in the Upazila Parishad polls, and were engaged is serious electioneering to woo the voters.
Similarly, Awami League nominated candidate Anil Kumar, who serves as the district ruling party vice president, is facing off against rebel candidate Babul Hossain, local unit Liberation War Affairs Secretary of Jubo League.
Both Anil Kumar and babul Hossain seem to enjoy a lot of support from the people.
Awami League nominated candidate Fakhrul Islam, who serves as the upazila unit general secretary, will contest the polls against the ruling party’s local unit vice president Iqbal Hossain.
Locals are excited about a head to head electoral battle among the two heavyweights.
Three candidates are vying for the position of upazila parishad chairman in Durgapur upazila. Awami League candidate Nazrul Islam will face off against ruling party rebel candidate Abdul Majid Sardar.
Awami League leader Abdul Quader Mondol is also contesting the election.
Many voters think the key battle will take place between Nazrul and Majid, but some believe Mondol is also a strong contender.
Rajshahi’s Senior Election officer Saiful Islam said: “All preparations for voting to take place have been completed. Law enforcement agencies are on high alert, to ensure a fair and peaceful election.”
Rajshahi police spokesperson and Senior Assistant Superintendent of Police Abdur Razzak Khan said: “Around 2,000 law enforcement personnel, as part of three tiers, will be deployed in eight upazilas of Rajshahi.
“Superintendent of Police Md Shahidullah has directed the personnel to discharge their duties with utmost sincerity and impartiality.”
The first phase of Upazila Parishad election is slated for Sunday.