Jamaat-e-Islami has increased the number of party-backed candidates who will contest constituencies across Bangladesh during the upcoming 11th parliamentary election.
A party insider said feedback from the grassroots leadership had prompted Jamaat chiefs to revise the total of 52 settled on only a month ago, and back a further ten candidates.
Jamaat insiders, however, added that the number of 62 party-backed candidates has not been finalized as yet.
“Jamaat is yet to finalize how many constituencies the party will contest in, and how many candidates it will back,” Majlis-e-Shura member Maulana Habibur Rahman said. “The party policy makers will make the decision ahead of the polls.”
Sources told the Bangla Tribune that the party’s election committee has already instructed aspirants to start strengthening public relations.
A number of Jamaat sources also confirmed that the party’s central leaders have visited their constituencies in the last six months.
Jamaat is aware that it may not reach its target number of candidates if the party decides to join the BNP-led 20-party alliance for the next polls, which must be held by early 2019.
In 2001, Jamaat contested 30 constituencies as part of the alliance, and one other seat on its own.
In 2008, the alliance allotted 39 constituencies to Jamaat, with party candidates standing under the Jamaat banner in four other constituencies: Sirajganj, Chapainawabganj 3, Jhenaidah, and Meherpur.
This time around, a source said the party has already made the initial decision to back eight candidates in the Comilla region.
The Jamaat election committee has directed party leaders not to be concerned about getting party backing in the polls, and to prepare for contesting in the upcoming election.
The Jamaat election committee is responsible for nominating candidates for the upcoming election based on feedback from the grassroots level. The committee is reportedly chaired by acting secretary general Maulana ATM Masum, with Professor Izzat Ullah serving as its secretary.
In a November 16 meeting among the senior leaders of BNP and its alliance members, Abdul Halim recommended that BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia launch a public relations drive and formulate strategies centering on the upcoming polls.
Executive Council member Maulana Abdul Halim said: “Jamaat is busy with its organisational activities. We are preparing for the 11th general polls as we are a democratic party.”
cies the party will contest in, and how many candidates it will back. The party policy makers will make the decision ahead of the polls.”
The article was first published on Bangla Tribune