Awami League is reportedly considering Dr Farashuddin, Sohul Hossain, and Dr Momen as candidates for this constituency
Despite preparations for the upcoming 11th general election kicking into full-gear across the country, the Awami League and BNP have yet to green light their candidates for the Sylhet 1 (sadar and city corporation) constituencies.
The incumbent lawmaker of this seat, senior Awami League leader and Finance Minister AMA Muhith announced earlier that due to health complications, he is withdrawing his candidacy for the next election. The ruling party is yet to determine a candidate to contest in this constituency.
Meanwhile, the BNP also has yet to decide on a candidate for Sylhet 1. There are rumours that Zubaida Rahman, the wife of acting BNP Chairperson Tarique Rahman, could be nominated by the party—to participate in the polls.
On September 11 last year, Finance Minister AMA Muhith announced his withdrawal from all subsequent polls, and suggested that his brother Dr AK Abdul Momen serve as a viable candidate for the Sylhet 1 constituency, if the Awami League approves it.
Former ambassador Dr AK Abdul Momen serves as Bangladesh’s permanent representative to the United Nations in New York.
Along with Momen, Awami League central Organising Secretary (Mymensingh) Misbahuddin Siraj, Bangabandhu’s personal secretary and former Bangladesh Bank governor Dr Farashuddin, and former election commission Sohul Hossain are also vying for the nomination.
As for possible BNP candidates, the party chairperson’s Advisor Khandaker Abdul Muktadir and senior party leader Dr Shahriar Hossain Chowdhury are being discussed by the rumour mill.
Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, a senior local BNP leader said: “There is a strong possibility that a member of the Khaleda Zia’s family will be nominated as the party candidate for Sylhet 1 constituency in the upcoming election.
“The party favours acting chairman Tarique Rahman’s wife Dr Zubaida Rahman as its candidate. Zubaida’s father, former shipping minister and Bangladesh Navy rear admiral Mahbub Ali Khan, has a good image in this region. She has a better chance of winning the election.”
Meanwhile, a senior local Awami League leader, on condition of anonymity said: “The ruling candidate suffered a crushing defeat in the recent Sylhet City Corporation Polls, so the Awami League is formulating a strategy before naming an aspirant.
“Former Bangladesh Bank governor Farashuddin, former election commissioner Sohul Hossain, AMA Muhith’s younger brother Dr AK Abdul Momen, and Adocate Misbah Uddin Siraj are among the eligible candidates.”
The ruling party leader added that the party President Sheikh Hasina’s decision will be considered final in this regard.
The political parties consider Sylhet 1 a crucial seat, and will make a serious effort to nominate a candidate who can snatch victory in the 11th general polls.
Addressing the matter, Sushasoner Jonno Nagorik (Sujan) Sylhet chapter President Faruk Mahmud Chowdhury was optimistic that the political parties will nominate honest, capable, and meritorious candidates for this constituency.
Echoing the same opinion, Sylhet chapter of Bangladesh National Woman Lawyers' Association Coordinator Advocate Syeda Shirin Akter said: “We want candidates who are free from corruption. We prefer a candidate who will work for the development of women.”