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Sunamganj 5 Constituency: Awami League divided, BNP stable over nominations

  • Published at 11:36 am October 29th, 2018
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From left- Kalim Uddin Ahmed Milon, MP Muhibur Rahman Manik and Shamim Ahmed Chowdhury Courtesy

The constituency comprises Chhatak and Dowarabazar upazilas and is situated near the northeast border of Bangladesh

Election campaigns have been running in full swing in Sunamganj 5 constituency. 

The constituency comprises Chhatak and Dowarabazar upazilas and is situated near the northeast border of Bangladesh. 

Awami League won four times, BNP twice, Jatiya Party three times and an independent candidate once in this seat. 

With the national election ahead, district Awami League Vice-President MP Muhibur Rahman Manik, Awami League district committee member and former Chhatra League leader Shamim Ahmed Chowdhury, and former MP and district BNP President Kalim Uddin Ahmed Milon have started running campaigns. 

This constituency was a vote bank for Jamaat once, which ended when MP Muhibur Rahman Manik was elected. 

This region is renowned for its cement industry, with some major industrial establishments. 

Therefore, most of the voters in this constituency are workers, agricultural laborers and fishermen. 

However, Dowarabazar upazila is the most neglected region in the constituency due to Surma River erosions leading to a damaged network of roads making commuting an almost impossible task. 

Voters have complained that people were suffering due to the extremely slow progress of the area. 

Mohiuddin from Jalalpur village under Mannargaon union of Dowarabazar echoed the complains confirming people were in distress due to slow development of the area. 

Montaj Ali from Jhilargaon village under Lakshmipur union said: "The government has neglected the development for a long time. People here are suffering because of river erosion. Therefore, something should be done to prevent it urgently."

There have been open conflicts regarding party nominations in Awami League and so the grass root workers have become divided. The impact of the conflict has also spread in the rural areas. 

Despite these hurdles MP Muhibur Rahman Manik is ahead with his public campaigns and recently many ministers and state ministers have sought votes for Awami League in the election area in support of the lawmaker.   

The whole area has become divided between Kalam group and Manik group which may not be a good sign, with the elections not far off, in terms of clashes.

Chhatak upazila Awami League Joint Convener Syed Ahmed said: "There is no division in the group even with the high competition regarding party nomination."

He said all activists were united in their support of Awami League. As Muhibur Rahman Manik has implemented remarkable development activities in the area during the rule of the current government there have been no speculations about his nomination for the upcoming elections. 

Muhibur Rahman Manik told the Dhaka Tribune: "I have been nominated six times by the party and hope to receive nomination this time as well. I believe the voters will elect me to complete the development that I commenced in the area."

However, Shamim Ahmed Chowdhury said: "People have no confidence in the current members of parliament. All developmental progress in the area was with the help of the party, there has been no contribution from the local lawmaker."

He said he hoped for a nomination because of the demand of people. 

Former MP and district BNP President Kalim Uddin Ahmed Milon said: "People of Chhatak-Dowarabazar have faith in BNP.  They do not trust Awami League anymore. If the election occurs under a neutral government, I believe BNP will win by a landslide."