Union Parishad Elections

AL may keep race open for party aspirants

Anaet Shawon

4 March, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Awami League is likely to keep the race for the chairman post in the upcoming union parishad (UP) elections open for all party aspirants as Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has decided to stay off the polls.

The ruling party might take such a decision to make the elections beginning on April 11 next competitive, said insiders.

The Election Commission has decided to hold elections to 4,300 out of 4,500 UPs in phases. A total of 323 UPs will go to polls on April 11 in the first phase.

Usually, political parties experience a huge pressure while picking candidates for the chairman post as a number of leaders seek nomination for vying for the post with party symbols. 

BNP on Sunday decided not to take part in the UP elections anymore under the party banner although it participated in the municipality polls.

AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader claimed that BNP decided to stay off the race as their candidates will not get votes in the elections. “BNP has decided not to take part in the UP polls after facing a debacle in the 5th phases of municipal polls,” he said.

To make the UP elections competitive, the ruling party may not go for its tough stance against party rebels, insiders said, adding that the party is likely to ask all of its aspirants to contest the upcoming UP polls to make those participatory.

AL Joint General Secretary AFM Bahauddin Nasim told the Daily Sun that the party will take a decision in this regard if BNP remains rigid on boycotting the UP polls. “I hope BNP will change its decision and play a vital role as a responsible political party to strengthen democracy. If such a situation is created, we’ll take the decision for the sake of the party, country and democracy.” AL insiders said the main competition will be held between Awami League contestants and its rebels while the contenders from main opposition Jatiya Party will appear strongly in some places.

AL Presidium member Faruk Khan told the Daily Sun that the country’s people will make the elections competitive if any party boycotts those. “We’ll do whatever necessary by maintaining party discipline,” he said, adding that it is BNP’s nature to boycott the polls and return to elections again.

Echoing Faruk, another Presidium member Abdur Rahman said the party is yet to take any decision in this regard.

The party’s stance on containing rebels will continue and those who violate the party discipline will face dire consequences, including deprivation of nomination and party posts in the future, he warned.

According to party insiders, prospective chairman aspirants have started taking all-out preparations to get the party nomination. At least 4-5 candidates are seeking AL ticket in each union.

Aspirants have been showing their interest to get the party ticket as party-supported candidates came out successful in recent elections, they say.