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1 June, 2018 12:06:09 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 1 June, 2018 02:15:33 PM

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Jamaat eyes ‘backdoor entry’ to contest polls

Rafiqul Islam Azad
Jamaat eyes ‘backdoor entry’ to contest polls

Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, a major BNP ally, plans to field its own candidates to contest at least 50 parliamentary seats in the next general elections likely to be held later this year, according to party insiders. Senior leaders confided to The Independent that Jamaat, which opposed Bangladesh’s independence, would bargain for as many as 60 to 70 tickets from the BNP-led 20-Party Alliance, but it would not accept anything below 50.

Since Jamaat cannot fight the elections as the party lost its registration following a High Court verdict in 2013, it may field its candidates either with BNP tickets or as independents to contest the polls.

The leaders said the party has already finalised its candidates for at least 43 constituencies. The rest would likely be determined after Eid-ul-Fitr, said a senior leader of the

party, which now carries out its political activities clandestinely to escape alleged government wrath.

The possible Jamaat candidates include MA Hakim (Thakurgaon-2), Mohammed Hanif (Dinajpur-1), Anwarul Islam (Dinajpur-6), Moniruzzaman Montu (Nilphamari-2), Azizul Islam (Nilphamari-3), Habibur Rahman (Lalmonirhat-1), Shah Hafizur Rahman (Rangpur-5), Noor Alam Mukul (Kurigram-4), Abdul Aziz (Gaibandha-1), Nazrul Islam (Gaibandha-3), Abdur Rahim Sarker (Gaibandha-4), Nurul Islam Bulbul (Chapainawabganj-2), Md Latifur Rahman (Chapainawabganj-3), Ataur Rahman (Rajshahi-3), Rafiqul Islam Khan (Sirajganj-4), Ali Azam (Sirajganj-5), and some family members of former Jamaat Amir Motiur Rahman Nizami, who was executed for war crimes.

The other possible Jamaat candidates are Maulana Abdus Sobhan (Pabna-5), Somiruddin (Meherpur-1), Muhammed Habibur Rahman (Chuadanga-2), Motiar Rahman (Jenaidah-3), Azizur Rahman (Jeshore-1), Abu Syed Mohammed Sadat Hossain (Jeshore-2), Advocate Abdul Wadud (Bagerhat-3), Shahidul Islam (Bagerhat-4), Mia Golam Porwar (Khulna-6), Shah Muhammed Ruhul Quddus (Khulna-6), Ijjatullah (Satkhira-1), Abdul Khaleque Mondol (Satkhira-2), Mufti Rabiul Bashar (Satkhira-3), Gazi Nazrul Islam (Satkhira-4), two sons of Maulana Delwar Hossain Saidee, who is serving a life term for war crimes, (Pirojpur 1 and 2).

The Jamaat also plans to field Shafiqul Islam Masud in Patuakhali-2 constituency, the son of Muhammed Quamaruzzaman, who was also executed for war crimes, from Sherpur-1, Prof. Jasimuddin in Mymensingh-6, Fariduddin in Sylhet-5, Maulana Habibur Rahman in Sylhet-6, Dr Syed Abdullah Mohammed Taher from Cumilla-11, Shamsul Islam in Chottogram-14, Hamidur Rahman Azad from Cox’s Bazar-2, and Shajahan Chowdhury from Cox’s Bazar-4.

The Jamaat had no candidates for Chapainawabganj-2, Sirajganj-5, Mymensingh-6, Satkhira-1, Patuakhali-2 and Cox’s Bazar-4 for the ninth parliamentary polls. Jamaat’s possible candidates in Sirajganj-5 and Cox’s Bazar-4 are upazila chairpersons.

A senior Jamaat leader told The Independent that the party has given the green signal to its possible candidates to work for the elections in their respective areas. “The preparations for the next polls are going on in those constituencies where the party would like to field its candidates,” he said on condition of anonymity.

He also said Jamaat was yet to decide whether the party would contest the polls under the sheaf of paddy (BNP’s election symbol) or as independents.

Meanwhile, BNP standing committee member Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury said they were yet to finalise seat allocations among the alliance partners. “It would be fixed following a discussion with our alliance partners at an appropriate time,” he added.

Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, another BNP standing committee member, said: “If a congenial atmosphere is created for a neutral election, we will take part in it. Only then, the matter of seat sharing among the partners will be determined.”

“I think there will be no problem with seat sharing among the partners of the 20-Party Alliance,” he added. The Jamaat, which opposed the War of Liberation in 1971, emerged as a political party in Bangladesh after the ban on Islamic political parties was lifted in 1976. It first contested the parliamentary polls in 1979 in the name of the then Islamic Democratic League (IDL) and won six seats. It won 10 seats in 1986, 18 in 1991, three in 1996, and 17 in the 2001 parliamentary polls.

SHK/SI

 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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