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Dhaka Tribune

Dinajpur 1 constituency: Factions a big challenge for AL

AL insiders say it will be tough for the party to compete in the elections due to unresolved internal conflicts

Update : 09 Oct 2018, 10:48 AM

Ahead of the upcoming national polls, the ruling Awami League party is facing a big challenge as two factions are actively working in the Dinajpur 1 constituency. 

The constituency consists of the Birganj and Kaharole upazilas. There are 343,156 voters in the  constituency. Of them, 171,107 are female and 172,049 are male voters.

The constituency has been represented in the Jatiya Sangsad, since 2005, by Manoranjon Shill Gopal of Awami League.

Activists of the ruling party recently declared the party’s parliamentarian, Manoranjan Shill Gopal, an unwelcome person in Dinajpur—because of his alleged corruption and helping Jamaat-e-Islami get a foothold in the locality, said sources.

Awami League insiders say it will be tough for the party to compete in the elections if the ongoing internal conflicts are not resolved before the polls.

Choosing the right candidates is now a big challenge for Awami League—which is eyeing its third consecutive term in power. 

Factional disputes between the leaders may play a big role for the party in the elections, said insiders.

BNP candidates may take advantage of the Awami League’s factional feuds, they also said.

While the ruling party is showcasing their development projects to voters, its arch political rival, BNP, is searching for ways to save its top brass from years of imprisonment.

From Awami League: Birganj upazila unit president Zakaria Zaka; former MP Aminul Islam; Bangladesh Chhatra League’s Former Central Vice-President Abu Hossain Bipu; and Former MP Abdul Malek Sarker are trying to get the party’s nomination. They are united against Manoranjan.

Zakaria says he wishes to work with anyone excluding Manoranjan. 

The other aspirants echo Zakaria’s words. 

Awami League appears worried by the party’s internal feuds ahead of the upcoming national elections, said locals.

The party has recently served show-cause notices to 14 leaders, including Manoranjan.

The notices signed by General Secretary Obaidul Quader were dispatched on September 10, from the party chief’s Dhanmondi offices.

The letters were sent to the three MPs—Manoranjan Shill Gopal of Dinajpur-1, Md. Abdul Wadud of Rajshahi-5, and Dhirendra Debnath Shambhu of Barguna-1, says a local Awami League leader of the constituency.

Denying the allegations brought against him, Manoranjan says a faction of Awami League is inventing a conspiracy.

He alleges the faction is involved with anti-party activities. 

Birganj upazila unit BNP President Manjurul Islam will contest the poll, say BNP sources.

As there is no other candidate and no faction in the BNP, Manjurul is in a favourable  position, the sources also say.

Jatiya Party leader Shahinur Islam Shaheen said Awami League has not evaluated them in the past. 

He says only the Jatiya Party can bring happiness for the people. He intends to contest the poll.

Local Jamaat leader and Birganj Municipality Mayor Moulna Abdul Hanif says if no candidate from BNP contests the poll, he will try to take nomination.

He urges the government to deploy the army during the poll.

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