JP in high gear to contest local polls

Mohammad Al Amin

25 September, 2020 12:00 AM printer

The main opposition Jatiya Party is in an all-out effort to vie for the upcoming elections to all local government units across the country.

“We are choosing our candidates and giving them nomination to contest the upcoming polls to different local government units,” Jatiya Party Chairman GM Quader told daily sun.   

Mentioning that their preparation is going on in full swing to win the polls, he claimed that they are choosing suitable candidates who are dedicated to the party.

Jatiya Party insiders said the party has decided to participate in the upcoming elections to different local government units as part of its move to rejuvenate its leaders and activists across the country.

Besides, the party will also join the upcoming by-polls to four constituencies -- Dhaka-5, Dhaka-18, Naogaon-6 and Sirajganj-1 while it has already contested the by-polls to Pabna-4.

Talking to daily sun, some central and grassroots leaders vented that though the party wants to contest the polls to all the local government units, it is facing crisis of worthy and dedicated candidates.

“Its grass roots units are not much strong in some districts while the party couldn’t complete its reformation. At the same time, JP is also suffering from serious internal conflict. That is why, it is difficult to pick suitable candidates for the polls in many areas,” according to a central leader.

The party insiders opined that Jatiya Party (JP) is actually divided into two factions -- GM Quader Group and Raushan Ershad Group -- across the country from central to grassroots levels and leaders and activists of both factions want to establish their supremacy.

“Internal conflicts have weakened the party units in many districts. Actually, after the demise of the party founder chairman HM Ershad, its strength has also become weak,” another central leader said, seeking anonymity.       

Claiming that the party exercises democratic practices and it is a strong political party, GM Quader said the party is going ahead with necessary reformation keeping an eye on the next parliamentary election.

A presidium member of the opposition party said the party is contesting all elections to local government units and by-polls to some constituencies in a bid to remain in the field of politics.

“Though we know that our candidates cannot win all the local government unit polls, we are trying to make sure that the candidates remain mentally strong to compete in most of the elections, but we are in a crisis situation about picking candidates.”

The Election Commission (EC) sources said it has been taking preparations to hold elections to over 4,000 UPs and by-polls to more than 250 municipalities across the country.

The UP elections will be held in December this year and from March to April next year, according to EC sources. The elections to the vacant posts in municipalities will be held from October this year.

There are over 4,500 UPs across the country. Of those, the tenure of around 500 UPs has expired and elections there will take place by December this year. The elections to the rest 4,000 UPs will be held in different phases from March to April next year.

The last union parishad elections were held in several phases from March 22, 2016, to June 4, 2016. According to union parishad election rules, an election should be held 180 days before the tenure of the union parishad expires.

However, EC has already announced schedule for by-polls to different posts of 46 union parishads.

The last municipal election was held in December 2015. The EC will have to declare the schedule for elections keeping 40-45 days in hand.