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Shariatpur 2 constituency: Internal feuds rise in AL, BNP

  • Published at 09:40 am October 1st, 2018
WEB_Seeking nominations_Shariatpur-2_Edited_01.10.02018
File photo of the people seeking nominations from different parties for Shariatpur 2 constituency Colelcted

The constituency is constituted by Naria upazila and Shakhipur area of Bhedarganj upazila. There are 3,09,468 voters in the constituency

The ruling Awami League and the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) are both being ravaged by internal feuds in Shariatpur 2 constituency ahead of the national polls expected in December. 

The constituency is constituted by Naria upazila and Shakhipur area of Bhedarganj upazila and has 309,468 registered voters. 

According to AL sources, a long standing conflict among the party’s leaders in the district has bubbled to the surface since 85-year-old Col (retd) Shawkat Ali announced that he has no interest in contesting the upcoming JS polls due to his age. 

Shawkat was elected parliamentarian in 1979, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2008 and 2014. During his time in office, he has served on various parliamentary committees, including as chair of the Standing Committee on Ministry of Shipping and Committee on Private Members Bills and Resolutions between 1996 and 2001.

He was elected unanimously the deputy speaker of the ninth parliament on January 25, 2009, following a landslide Awami League victory.

With the pathway to parliament left clear by Shawkat’s imminent retirement, AL aspirants are currently engaged in hectic lobbying to garner party tickets.

Central Committee Organising Secretary AKM Enamul Haque Shamim, Former Chairman of Naria upazila Prof Sultan Mahmud Simon, reserved seat MP Navana Akter and Dr Khaled Shawkat Ali, the son of Col Shawkat Ali, are trying to get nominations.

While the aspirants have announced their candidature by putting up posters and billboards and by attending various social and religious functions, party insiders say the dispute among them has deepened.

Ruling party friction

Former Jubo League Central Committee member  and people.

Simon, a Freedom Fighter and now a prosecutor of International Crimes Tribunal, has also played a big role in local politics and thinks the party will nominate him “considering his contributions for the AL and country”.

Reserved seat MP Navana says she has a “great role” in the 1/11 movement to free Sheikh Hasina.

She hopes the party will evaluate her as she is working for the development of the  constituency as she was elected MP.

Dr Khaled Shawkat says he will “work to implement the vision of his father” if he is nominated.

BNP divided

The BNP aspirants are yet to be seen holding public meetings, however, the party’s candidates hope to take advantage of the AL’s factional feuds in the constituency.

Shariatpur district unit former BNP president Shafiqur Rahman Kiron, Central Committee Member Jamal Sharif Hiru, Former MP Dr KA Jalil,  local BNP leader Col (retd) SM Faisal and TM Gias Uddin are all trying to get nominations.

According to BNP insiders, leaders and activists of BNP are divided in two groups in the constituency. Kiron leads one faction while Hiru leads another faction. 

Although the opposition appears splintered, locals say the ruling Awami League is also on a slippery slope as a section of its grassroots leaders in the constituency have indulged in internal feuds, use of firearms, misconduct and other unhealthy activities over the years.

Party insiders say such activities are tarnishing the image of the Awami League.

Locals say they want such a representative who will work to protect them from floods, river erosion and for the development of the constituency.