Awami League and BNP are the lead the contenders in the race
Dinajpur-2 constituency, according to political analysts, will remain a contest between ruling party Awami League and BNP.
The constituency, which comprises the upazilas of Biral and Bochaganj, has already started participating in the electoral preparations ahead of the upcoming 11th national election.
Topics such as which parties might participate in the election, who will get nominated by these parties, and the names of these candidates, have become the main discussion material in the upazilas.
However, besides the main players, Awami League and BNP, other parties have also started campaigning before the election.
Political leaders hoping for a nomination are running their campaigns using posters, festoons, and banners—which also bear welcoming messages about religious festivals like Eid and Durga Puja.
Odds high for Awami League
Among all the seats in Dinajpur, the Dinajpur-2 constituency is seen as the "VIP" seat—because important central leaders of the two main parties always run for election from here.
From Awami League, two-times elected MP and three-times elected election Organizational Secretary Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury has started campaigning.
In the ninth election, in 2009, Khalid beat BNP candidate standing committee member and former MP Lt Gen Mahbubur Rahman—the first time he ran for election.
After becoming an MP, Khalid was elected as the organizational secretary in the party council. The scenario inside Biral and Bochaganj upazilas changed once Khalid was elected.
Besides improving the transportation system, railway, bridges and culverts, and electricity, Khalid also worked on establishing educational institutions, religious institutions, and better infrastructure.
All these activities cemented Khalid’s popularity in the minds of the public.
BNP: main competitor
Despite doubts about BNP's participation in the next election, candidates hoping for a nomination have not stopped campaigning.
Aside from BNP standing committee member and former MP Lt Gen Mahbubur Rahman, BNP President of Bochaganj upazila and distinguished industrialist Al-Haj Sadique Riaz Chowdhury Pinak, is another main candidate for the party’s nomination.
Pinak, the eldest son of Md Riazul Haque Chowdhury, who was the former chairman of Dinajpur district municipality, former president of Dinajpur Bar Association, and former Dinajpur district BNP vice-president, has been affiliated with politics for a while.
He undertook many social activities, including extending cooperation to build madrasas in different villages, bearing the cost of education of poor students, and other development work. He has been directly affiliated with politics for the last 4-5 years.
On the other hand, former Secretary of Education Affairs of BNP, former General Secretary of Bochaganj upazila, current President of district teachers and employee association and Lecturer of Mongolpur Mainul Hasan College Manzurul Islam is another hopeful.
Other party contestants
After Jatiya Party announced its decision to nominate candidates, Jatiya Party leader Jibon Chowdhury and Jatiya Party President of Bochaganj upazila Adv Zulfiqar Ali have started campaigning in the hopes of clinching a nomination.
Although Dinajpur-2 is labeled as an Awami League stronghold, due to internal party conflicts, Awami League lost the seat during the eighth national election. However, Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury won it back in the ninth national election.
Zulifqar has been active in politics for a long time. He only lost the previous two Bochaganj upazila elections for the chairman posts after a close competition.
Even though he resides in the Dinajpur town, Zulfiqar has continued visiting Bochaganj almost every day to keep in touch with his people.
As Jamaat-e-Islami has been forbidden from campaigning they have not been seen undertaking any campaign activities.