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Deprived aspirants vent anger

Mahamudul Hasan

Rivalries among Awami League leaders over nomination have come into the open in many constituencies after the announcement of the names of party candidates on Friday for the 10th parliamentary elections.
With a hope to win AL tickets, a total of 2608 aspirants had collected party nomination forms against 300 constituencies.
After the announcement of the names of the party candidates on Friday, the deprived aspirants and their supporters were staging protests in different constituencies.      
Many deprived aspirants have declared that they will contest the polls as ‘rebel’ candidates.  In Habiganj, Mushfiq Hossain Chowdhury for Habiganj 1 and Syed Tanvir Ahmed for Habiganj 4 constituencies bought nomination papers to contest the polls as ‘rebel’ candidates.
Supporters of Syed Tanvir Ahmed declared the party nomination winner Mahbub Ali ‘unwanted’ in the constituency.  
Leaders and activists of a faction of Abhaynagar upazila unit of the AL in Jessore district on Sunday observed a dawn-to-dusk general
strike at Nawapara in protest at the party’s giving nomination to Ranjit Roy for Jessore 4 constituency. They demanded party nomination for whip Sheikh Abdul Wahab.
AL has given nomination to Abu Reza Mohammad Nezamuddin Nadwi, faculty member of the Jamaat-e-Islami-backed International Islamic University Chittagong, for Chittagong 15 constituency (Satkania-Lohagara). Leaders and activists of Satkania upazila unit of the AL protested at the nomination for Nadwi’s links with Jamaat-e-Islami.
Abdul Matlab, acting president of Satkania unit of the AL, who was an aspirant for  the party ticket, told New Age that the grassroots leaders and activists of the upazila did not accept the nomination of Nadwi for the constituency as he had no relations with the AL, rather it was widely known that he had links with Jamaat.
Nomination aspirants Yarul Islam and Makbul Hossain of Meherpur 1 and Meherpur 2 constituencies on Saturday announced that they would contest the polls as independent candidates to protest at the nomination of Farhad Hossain Dudul and Abdul Khaleque for the two constituencies.     
Leaders of Belkuchi upazila unit AL resigned en masse on Friday night as former fisheries and livestock minister Abdul Latif Biswas did not get nomination for Sirajganj 5 constituency. The AL has nominated Abdul Majid Mandal for the parliamentary seat.
Supporters of Latif Biswas also staged demonstrations on Saturday to protest at the nomination of Abdul Majid. 
AL leaders in Bogra 3 and Bogra 5 constituencies on Sunday staged demonstrations and threatened to resign en masse if the party did not replace the party candidates – Ansar Ali Mridha and Habibur Rahman – in the two constituencies.
Several thousand supporters of former communications minister Syed Abul Hossain took to the streets and blocked Dhaka-Barisal highway at Kalkini shortly after the party named its central organising secretary AFM Bahauddin Nasim as the candidate to contest the polls for Madaripur 2 constituency instead of Abul Hossain.
Nomination of Reza Ali, a lawmaker, for Mymensingh 7 constituency sparked protests and clashes at Trishal leaving at least 10 injured. The activists loyal to nomination aspirants Madani and Anisuzzaman brought out violent processions soon after the announcement of Reza Ali’s nomination. They also barricaded Dhaka-Mymensingh highway, halting traffic for over an hour.
In protest at the nomination of AL central committee member Kazi Nabil Ahmad for Jessore 3 constituency, supporters of Shaheen Chakladar, general secretary of Jessore district AL, blocked highways at least at 12 points in Jessore town. They also declared Nabil ‘unwanted’ in Jessore.
Supporters of nomination aspirant Mostafa protested at the nomination of Monirul Islam Monir for Jessore-2 constituency.
Followers of deprived aspirants also staged protests in Jessore 4, Sirajganj 4, Bogra 5, Kushtia 4 Narail 2, Kishoreganj 3, Cox’s Bazar 3, Dhaka 4, Gaibanda 4, Naogaon 3 and Nilphamari 4.
Sitting lawmaker AA Maruf Saqlain won the party ticket for Niphamari 4 (Syedpur-Kishoreganj) constituency despite protests by grassroots leaders of the two upazilas. During the meeting with the party president Sheikh Hasina in September, they urged her not to nominate Saqlain again as he had detached himself from the party activists and local people since the last elections.
Deprived nomination aspirant for the constituency, Kohinur Akter told New Age that they were stunned by the party’s decision to nominate Saqlain again.
AL presidium member Mohammad Nasim said it was difficult for a large political party like the Awami League to satisfy all. ‘There might be dissatisfactions over the nominations but it would not continue for long as all will be united and work for the party candidates when the electioneering will start,’ he said.

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