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Dhaka Tribune

This time AL, BNP rebels more aggressive

Update : 11 Mar 2014, 10:49 PM

In the third spell of Upazila Parishad elections in Alfadanga upazila of Faridpur a total of nine Awami League leaders including eight rebel candidates are contesting for the chairman post.

Six of them, however, quit the race under pressure from the candidate sponsored by the Awami League central committee. The BNP in this upazila filed only one candidate.

“Our lawmaker Abdur Rahman has put pressure on us to backpedal from the race and six contenders have withdrawn their candidatures,” an Awami League rebel who quit the race told the Dhaka Tribune in exchange for anonymity.

Those who were forced to give up are now campaigning against the party-backed candidate stealthily.

When contacted SM Akram Hossain, upazila Awami league president, however said he withdrew his candidature through a press conference. “No one has put pressure on me.”

MM Jalal Uddin is vying in the election with the blessing of Awami League while Mokibul Hasan alias Putu Mia is contesting on BNP ticket.

The same picture of rebel candidates vying against their party-sponsored man in Ghior upazila of Manikganj is more interesting. Eight BNP leaders including seven rebel candidates are contesting the polls while the number in Awami League is three.

The polls drama began to unfold since the filing of nomination paper and continued till Sunday. BNP extended its support to Khandakar Liakat Hossain as 19-party candidate but seven others from the party are hell-bent on contesting the polls.

On Monday last week all seven rebel candidates of the BNP sat together where they decided to extend their support to Abdul Alim Khan

Monowar. But Abdul Hasem Biswas, another rebel candidate, did not accept the voting result and announced to stay in the race.

However, on Sunday all the rebel candidates except Hasem Biswas

extended support to party-backed candidate Liakat and announced to quit the race.

The Awami League too here failed to manage its rebel candidates. BNP-backed candidates won all the upazila chairman posts in the last two phases. In Kishoreganj Sadar Upazila Awami League General Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam’s paternal cousin Syed Ashfuqul Islam Titu was blessed with party support. But still there are three more Awami League candidates challenging the party-backed candidate.

The major political camps – Awami League and BNP – have failed to ensure single candidates in around half of the upazilas out of 81 and expulsion of the rebel candidates also widely reported compared to the previous phases of polls.

The highest number of candidates is contesting in Sreebardi Upazila of Sherpur where 20 candidates from different parties are contesting, according to election commission official record.

In the last two phases of upazila elections both the major political camps – the Awami League and BNP –have failed to rein in rebel candidates.

The rebel candidates, however, did not fare well in the polls but the party-backed candidates had to pay the prices in many cases.

In the second phase of elections, the trend of expulsion in both camps was lower but after the completion of the second phase both the parties adopted hard line on the rebel candidates and started expelling them, the moves that have angered the grassroots.

The influence of central leaders and local MPs in many places have surfaced in the third phase of upazila elections.

Election in Sreepur upazila of Gazipur district was postponed following reports of clashes between party-backed and rebels candidates.

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