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Jamalpur’s Awami League, BNP mired in internal conflicts

  • Published at 01:00 pm September 24th, 2018
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From left, Abul kalam Azad, Abdul Qaiyum, Mahzabin Khaled Baby, Sultan Mahmud Babu and Mirza Azam Collected

In some constituencies, there are multiple candidates within both parties

With the 11th national elections only months away, internal conflicts within the ruling Awami League, and its rival BNP – out of parliament since the last election – are intensifying in all five constituencies of Jamalpur.

In Jamalpur 1, comprising the Dewanganj and Bakshiganj upazilas, Awami League is divided into three groups over the nomination. The current MP is former information minister and four-time lawmaker Abul Kalam Azad—from Bakshiganj.

Abul has a disagreement with the party’s upazila unit President Noor Mohammad—who has long been trying to gain the nomination. During the 9th general polls, Noor ran as an independent candidate and was defeated.

Former Dewanganj upazila chairman Ishtiak Hossain Didar is also seeking the party’s nomination. He has a longstanding row with Abul, about the nomination, and their supporters often clash.

BNP leaders are also experiencing internal conflict in this constituency. Former inspector general of police and BNP chairperson’s Adviser Abdul Qaiyum, has a large group of supporters but has failed to get the backing of those loyal to former MP M Rashiduzzaman Millat.

In Jamalpur 2, that consists of Islampur, there are two factions in Awami League. One group is led by current MP Faridul Haque Khan Dulal while the other group is headed by Mahzabin Khaled Baby—she is the daughter of Gen (Retd) Khaled Mosharraf and also the MP from seats reserved for women.   

From left, Mostafizur Rahman Bablu, Sanwar Hossain Badsha, Faridur Kabir Talukdar, Rezaul Karim and Shah Md Wares Ali Mamun Collected

As Baby wants to be nominated for the upcoming election, the relations between the two have been strained.

Furthermore, BNP’s upazila unit former president ASM Abdul Halim has long been popular among his supporters. After he fell sick, former MP Sultan Mahmud Babu was made the chief. Since he spends most of the time in Dhaka, there is no current active leader in the constituency.

Awami League does not have any internal conflicts in Jamalpur 3—which comprises the Melandoho and Madarganj upazilas. State Minister for Textiles and Jute Mirza Azam is the most influential leader of this constituency. He won an uncontested election during the 10th parliamentary elections and is expected to win the party ticket in the upcoming national polls as well.

There is no internal rift between BNP Melandoho upazila unit President, Mostafizur Rahman Babul and Madarganj upazila unit Chief, Fayezul Islam Lanju. Mostafizur will likely be the single candidate since Lanju is an expatriate living in the US.

In Jamalpur 4 constituency, comprising Sarishabari upazila, three groups are active in Awami League—former MP Murad Hasan, Sanwar Hossain Badsha, and Prof Abdur Rashid. Both Badsha and Rashid are now seeking candidacies, which has led to conflicts between them.

However, there is no conflict within BNP in this constituency. The district unit’s President and Sarishabari upazila parishad Chairman Faridul Kabir Talukdar Shamim runs  all the party’s activities.

In Jamalpur 5, comprising sadar upazila, Awami League’s former organizing secretary Rezaul Karim Reznu has a longstanding row with the party’s district unit General Secretary, Faruk Ahmed Chowdhury.   

On the other hand, BNP’s district unit General Secretary Shah Md Wares Ali Mamun has long been running the party single-handedly. There appears not to be conflict but there are some internal rows. Sadar upazila parishad Chairman Amzad Hossain Mallick and Shamim Ahmed, the district unit’s former organizing secretary, are trying to lead the party with the support of a few local activists.  

However, a majority of BNP’s supporters are loyal to Wares Ali.