In Jessore 5 constituency, the incumbent MP Swapan Bhattacharjee and his older brother, the veteran Awami League Presidium Member Pijush Kanti Bhattacharjee, have collected nomination papers
The upcoming parliamentary election could turn some Awami League nomination seekers against their own flesh and blood as well as rival candidates.
That is because more than one member of the same family is vying for the ruling party’s nomination in nine constituencies across the country.
In Jessore 5 constituency, the incumbent MP Swapan Bhattacharjee and his older brother, the veteran Awami League Presidium Member Pijush Kanti Bhattacharjee, have collected nomination papers.
Pijush first won the seat in the 1967 election, becoming a member of the National Assembly before independence.
“I am very optimistic that I will get the nomination,” Pijush told the Dhaka Tribune. “But if not, I would be happy to work for the person the party chooses.”
In Pabna 4 constituency, Land Minister Shamsur Rahman Sherif is facing a two-pronged family challenge, with his daughter Mahjebin Shirin Pia and her husband, the Mayor of Ishwardi Abul Kalam Azad Mintu, both having collected nomination papers.
“I am hopeful I will get the nomination,” Abul Kalam Azad told the Dhaka Tribune. “I think I have a lot of popularity with the voters and they will want me to represent them.”
Shamsur Rahman Sherif has been in politics for 20 years but has recently come under pressure over the behaviour of his son, Shirhan Sharif Tomal.
Tomal was sent to prison on December 14, 2017 for assaulting four journalists in Pabna’s Ishwardi the previous month.
On the same day, Tomal was expelled from the Bangladesh Awami Jubo League, the youth wing of the ruling party.
In Lakshmipur 3 constituency, Municipality Mayor and former district unit general secretary Abu Taher and his son, Sadar Upazila Chairman AKM Salahuddin Tipu, are fighting for the ruling party nomination.
The family received a boost on October 9, when the eldest son of Abu Taher and AKM Salahuddin Tipu’s brother, AHM Aftab Uddin Biplob, was released from jail.
Biplob had been sentenced to death and a life term in jail for his role in the September 2000 murder of Advocate Nurul Islam, the then organizing secretary of Lakshmipur BNP. However, he was pardoned by the president and saw his life term commuted to 10 years in jail, which he had already served.
There is a husband-and-wife duel in Cox’s Bazar 4 constituency, where both embattled MP Abdur Rahman Bodi and his spouse Shaheen Chowdhury are vying for the Awami League nomination.
Bodi is accused of involvement with yaba smuggling and human trafficking.
“I am innocent,” he told the Dhaka Tribune. “I am confident the party will nominate me as I am the most popular candidate here.”
However, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader has hinted that Bodi’s wife Shaheen will be given the party’s endorsement.
In neighbouring Cox’s Bazar 3 constituency, incumbent MP Shaimum Sarwar Kamal is facing a strong challenge from his sister, the district Awami League organizing secretary, Kaberi Sarwar.
“I am confident that I will be the Awami League candidate this year,” she said.
The siblings have collected and submitted their party nomination papers already.
In Natore 4 constituency, both MP Abdul Quddus and his daughter Koheli Quddus Mukti are vying for the AL nomination.
In Pirojpur 1 constituency, MP AKM Abdul Awal, alias Saidur Rahman, and his brother Habibur Rahman Malek are both seeking the nomination from the ruling party.
In Dhaka 16 constituency, MP Elias Uddin Mollah and his older brother Eklas Uddin Mollah are both vying to get the nomination from Awami League.
In Dhaka 5 constituency, lawmaker Habibur Rahman Mollah is being challenged by his son, Moshiur Rohman Sajol.