Until the 2008 election, the constituency was known as a BNP stronghold
Seven candidates, including ones of Awami League and BNP, are contesting the 11th parliamentary election for Panchagarh 1 constituency.
Activists and the public believe competition, between the Awami League candidate Md Mazharul Haque Prodhan and BNP candidate Barrister Nawshad Zamir, will be fierce.
Panchagarh 1 constituency—consisting of Panchagarh sadar, Atwari, and Tetulia upazila—was once known as a BNP stronghold. However, in the 2008 election, Awami League candidate Md Mazharul Haque Prodhan was elected an MP after defeating the strong BNP candidate, former acting president and speaker Barrister Muhammad Jamiruddin Sircar.
In the 2014 election, Awami League left the parliamentary seat to Jatiya Party; however, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal General Secretary Nazmul Haque Prodhan was elected to parliament as an independent MP from Panchagarh 1.
Since Mazharul Haque Prodhan has been nominated again to run for election, Awami League activists believe that he will be elected to continue the development activities started by Awami League.
Mazharul said: “I want to serve the people and make an effort to realize their dreams of a bypass highway in Panchagarh, a railway extension from Panchagarh to Banglabandha, establishing medical colleges and airports, plus many more.
“I will present Panchagarh as a modern Panchagarh. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is working to build a poverty-and-hunger-free Bangladesh, which is why people will vote for Awami League.
The BNP candidate, former speaker late Mirza Golam Hafiz, was elected to this constituency in the 1991 election. BNP heavyweight candidate Speaker Barrister Muhammad Jamiruddin Sircar was elected MP in this seat during the 1996 and 2001 elections.
Meanwhile, BNP International Secretary Barrister, and Panchagarh 1 candidate, Muhammad Nawshad Zamir is contesting the election to regain the constituency his father lost.
BNP Panchagarh 1 candidate Muhammad Nawshad Zamir told the Dhaka Tribune: “BNP has only one candidate in this election and that is Begum Khaleda Zia, we are all working on her behalf.
“BNP won in this constituency in: 1979, 1991, 1996, and 2001. This constituency has always belonged to BNP; however, because of the controversial election in 2008, BNP lost the seat.”
The BNP candidate said: “The continuous development in Panchagarh, while BNP was in power, has been disrupted during the last 10 years. We know there is no level playing field in the election, but we are still participating to protect democracy in Bangladesh.”
The other candidates in this seat are: Jatiya Ganatantrik Party (Jagpa) Spokesperson and senior Vice-President of central committee Engineer Al Rashed Prodhan (Hookah), district Jatiya Party General Secretary Md Abu Salek (Plough), Islami Andolan Bangladesh Panchagarh unit General Secretary Md Abdullah (Hand fan), Zaker Party Jubo Shechashebok Front General Secretary Sumon Rana (Rose), and National People’s Party’s (NPP) Habibur Rahman (Mango).
Sources from the district election office said Panchagarh 1—comprising three upazilas, one municipality, and 23 unions—has 379,203 voters; consisting of 189,914 men and 189,289 women. The number of new voters for this seat is 50,288.
The constituency has 155 polling centres and 737 polling booths.