BNP leaders are worried and upset as the candidacy of their party men was rejected in 16 constituencies for various reasons, including loan default.
This will lead to an automatic defeat of the party in those constituencies.“The government cancelled the candidacy of many BNP candidates. They are using the court to keep us away from the polls. But we didn’t stop there,” BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said at a press conference at party chairperson Khaleda Zia’s Gulshan office on Tuesday.
“It is a big defeat for us against the Awami League candidates even before the election. Losing the candidacy will affect the results of the general election,” said a central leader of BNP.
The High Court on Thursday disqualified five BNP contenders from contesting the December 30 general election as their resignations from the posts of upazila chairmen were not accepted by the government.
The candidates are Faridul Kabir Talukdar (BNP) for Jamalpur-4, Fazlur Rahman (BNP) for Joypurhat-1, Abdul Majid (BNP) for Jhenidah-2, Abu Sayeed Chan (BNP) for Rajshahi-6 and Md Moslem Uddin (BNP) for Brahmanbaria-4.
The HC stayed for three months the Election Commission’s decisions that allowed the five candidates of BNP and two others to contest the polls.
The court also issued separate rules asking the Commission and the government to explain in four weeks why the decisions should not be declared illegal.The HC passed the orders in line with the Supreme Court’s directives that disqualified some sitting upazila chairmen from contesting the national polls, court sources said.
On Tuesday, the Appellate Division gave orders, disqualifying three BNP contenders — M Rashiduzzaman Millat, Tahsina Rushdir Luna and Syed Jahangir Alam — from contesting the polls from Jamalpur-1, Sylhet-2 and Dinajpur-3 constituencies respectively.
On Monday, eight other BNP candidates lost their candidacy following SC and HC orders.
They are Khondokar Abu Ashfaq for Dhaka-1, Tamiz Uddin for Dhaka-20, Abdul Muhit Talukder for Bogura-3, Sarkar Badal and Morshed Milton for Bogura-7, Nadim Mostafa for Rajshahi-5, Afroza Khan for Manikganj-3 and Abdul Hannan for Chandpur-1.
A delegation of BNP led by its standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan, also the chairman of the party’s election conducting committee met the Election Commission on Tuesday and urged the reschedule for the election in the seats where BNP candidates have become vacant.
BNP nominated its candidates in 242 parliamentary seats, leaving out the remaining 58 seats to its partners in two combines — Jatiya Oikya Front and 20-party alliance. Sources said Jatiya Oikya Front partners have got 19 seats while components of 20-party alliance bagged 39 seats.
BNP sent a list of 298 candidates who will contest the polls with its electoral symbol ‘Sheaf of Paddy’. The remaining two candidates of the alliances will run in the election with other symbols.
Leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami, a major component of the BNP-led 20-party alliance, have been given BNP’s poll symbol to contest the polls in 22 seats.
Meanwhile, Election Commission Secretary Helal Uddin on Thursday said a decision on the candidacies of 25 Jamaat-e-Islami leaders will be made by Monday.
The decision will be delivered within three working days – which will fall unto Tuesday, December 25 – just five days before the national election.
The High Court on December 18 directed the Election Commission to dispose of the application filed for cancelling the candidacy of 25 Jamaat-e-Islami men by three working days.
The court also issued a rule asking the government to explain in four weeks why the EC’s decision to allow 25 Jamaat candidates to contest in the elections despite the cancellation of their registration should not be declared illegal.
In the rule, the court also asked the EC to show causes why the Commission should not be directed to cancel their candidacy.
Sources inside BNP and Jamaat said if the Jamaat candidates finally lose their candidacy, BNP and its 20-party alliance and Jatiya Oikya Front will fall in big trouble in the general election.
Talking to the daily sun, some BNP leaders said if the Jamaat candidates lose their candidacy then, opposition alliance may lose around 40 candidates in the general election.
“BNP and Jamaat candidates who have either already lost candidacy and who may lose candidacy may extend their support to the candidates of Islami Andolon Bangladesh in their respective parliamentary seats,” said a BNP leader.