Repeated Defeat in by-elections

BNP’s participation irks party men

Mohammad Al Amin

24th October, 2020 12:55:20 printer

BNP’s participation irks party men

Most of the leaders and activists of the opposition BNP are unhappy with the party’s top leadership for participating in different polls and by-polls to several constituencies and local government units recently across the country.

The BNP nominated candidates have already been defeated in by-elections to several parliamentary seats and local government units including upazila parishads, municipalities and union parishads.

After the loss, the party brought allegations that the elections were not held fairly.

The party blamed the ruling party men for massive irregularities, ballot stuffing, occupying pollcentres and driving away their agents during the elections and by-elections.

“We are participating in the elections and by-elections for the sake of our party and democracy. Our party leaders and activists remain active through carrying out election campaigns. We also hope that democracy will return through our organisational activities and joining the elections,” BNP standing committee member JamiruddinSircar told daily sun.

He, however said: “Though some of our party (BNP) senior leaders opposed participating in the elections and by-elections (under the current Awami League government and the election commission) I strongly suggested joining the polls and by-polls as party men become inactive without organisational and election activities.”

Talking to daily sun, a vice chairman of the BNP wishing not to be named said: “Taking part in elections under the incumbent election commission and Awami League government will bring no benefit. But the defeat of our party candidates will make leaders and activists frustrated.”

Another senior leader said the party senior leaders are divided over the issue of participation in polls under the current regime. At the same time, most of the leaders and activists from central to grassroots are unhappy with the party high command with poll-participation issue.

BNP insiders said under the pressure of a large number of leaders and activists, the party standing committee is rethinking about the issue and discussing with Tarique Rahman the merits and demerits of joining the elections.

The issue also may be raised in the meeting of the party’s policy making body to be held on Saturday.

Some central leaders of BNP said after observingthe Dhaka-18 and Sirajganj-1 by-poll situation, BNP may announce boycott of all others polls under the current Election Commission and the government.

BNP has picked SM Jahangir and Selim Reza as its candidates to contest the upcoming Dhaka 18 and Sirajganj 1 by-elections.

The party nominated candidates have been defeated in the by-elections to Dhaka 5 and Naogaon 6 parliamentary seats held in October this year. And the party nominated candidate also has been defeated in by-polls to Pabna-4 constituency held in September this year.

BNP's candidate Sheikh RobiulAlam was defeated in the by-polls to Dhaka-10 constituency that was held in March this year.

But the party boycotted Bogura-1 and Jashore-6 by-polls held in July this year on the pretext of coronavirus pandemic in the country.

BNP nominated candidate Golam Mohammad Siraj secured victory in the by-election to Bogura-6 constituency in June last year.

Addressing a press conference on November 7, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said their party has decided to join all the upcoming elections and by-polls. The party earlier boycotted Bogura-1 and Jashore-6 by-polls.

After facing debacle in the last parliamentary election, BNP had announced that it will not participate in any election under the current Election Commission and the Awami League government.


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