The constituency has been an Awami League stronghold since independence—the party has won the seat in six out of 10 elections. The party has not lost the seat since 1996
Shariatpur 3 constituency is warming up for the upcoming general election. Several nomination- seekers from the ruling Awami League have started a large-scale campaign in their areas to get closer to the voters.
Although BNP’s aspirants have largely been absent from the field, they have maintained communication with their supporters.
Many local activists of the two parties say the biggest challenge for their candidates is to resolve internal conflicts.
Shariatpur 3 consists of parts of the Bhedarganj Upazila, Damudya, and Gosairhat upazilas—with 238,564 voters.
The constituency has been an Awami League stronghold since independence—the party has won the seat in six out of 10 elections. The party has not lost the seat since 1996.
Locals say development work by Awami League presidium member Abdur Razzaq, after he was made the water resources minister in 1996, helped boost the party’s popularity and strengthened its base.
Four people have been identified as prospective candidates of the ruling party. They are: Razzaq’s son and incumbent MP Nahim Razzaq, Shariatpur Zila Parishad Chairman and Awami League’s district unit president Sabedur Rahman Khoka Shikder, the party’s district unit General Secretary Anol Kumar Dey, and former Chhatra League central committee president Bahadur Bepari.
Party sources say Nahim and Bahadur are leading the contenders.
Awami League nominated Nahim to contest the by-election after his father, one of the main organizers of the Liberation War, passed away in 2011. Nahim was nominated again in the 2014 election—which he won unopposed.Nahim is the convenor of national youth platform Young Bangla, an initiative of the Centre for Research and Information. He is also a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee of Youth and Sports.
Meanwhile, the names of those eyeing BNP’s nomination have been revealed. Some of them are—BNP leader Tarique Rahman’s private secretary Mia Nur Uddin Opu, former Shariatpur 1 MP Hemayet Ullah Awrangajeb’s wife and BNP executive committee member Tahmina Khanam, and BNP’s district unit Organizing Secretary Sayeed Ahmed Aslam.
Tahmina’s husband Awranga won the Shariatpur 1 constituency in 1991 on an Awami League ticket. He defeated the Awami League candidate in 2001 as an independent candidate. He joined the BNP four years later and lost in the 2008 election against Razzaq from Shariatpur 3.
After Awranga’s death in a road accident in 2013, Tahmina was made a member of the BNP executive committee. She says she firmly believes she will get the party’s nomination.