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UPAZILA POLLS

BNP, AL leaders file nominations

BNP sees greater chance of winning, looks forward to positive impact on movement

Taib Ahmed and MH Maswood

Leaders of both the major rival political alliance, led by the ruling Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party have submitted nomination for the forthcoming elections to upazila councils.
The BNP-led alliance earlier boycotted the national elections, held on January 5, rallying for an election-time, non-party administration.
But the alliance is extending support for candidate, mostly party leaders, contesting the upazila elections, which will be held in six phases, as part of a ‘strategy of its movement against the government.’
Six hundred and ninety people submitted nomination for the position of upazila chairmen, 656 for that of vice-chairmen and 380 for that of vice-chairperson reserved for women for elections to 98 upazila councils as the nomination submission closed on Saturday.
The Election Commission was going ahead with elections to 102 councils, in the first phase, with the polling date being set on February 19. But the Election Commission later suspended election to four councils in the first phase on a local government ministry request because of polling area delimitation problems.
The commission is scheduled to hold elections to 117 upazila councils in the second phase on February 27. Elections to remaining councils will be held in four phases on March 15, 25 and 31 and May 3.
Reports reaching from districts say that leaders of the BNP and its partner in the alliance Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, along with leaders of the AL-led alliance, have submitted nomination.
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party which did not support any candidates in some local government elections and did not take part in some parliamentary by-elections under the incumbent Election Commission had its leaders contesting five city elections, winning all the five city mayor’s positions in 2013.
Many BNP leaders this time thought that candidates backed by the alliance had greater chance of winning upazila elections and it might create a positive impact on the movement of the alliance for early fresh parliamentary elections under a non-party government.
The BNP chairperson, Khaleda Zia, is reported to have asked leaders concerned to ensure that not more than one candidate would run for each of the positions in the upazila elections.
Ruling Awami League leaders said that they too were looking forward to the forthcoming upazila council elections as a means to rejuvenate the party grass roots and gain people’s confidence after winning the national elections that were marked by low voter turned out and more than a half of the total parliamentary seats being elected uncontested.
The New Age correspondent in Sylhet reported that 15 leaders of the Awami League, 14 of the BNP and 4 of Jamaat, among others, had submitted nomination for the positions of chairman in six upazila councils in the district.
The Narsingdi correspondent reported that three AL leaders, a BNP leader and another from Jamaat had submitted nomination for the position of the Palash upazila chairman.
The Bogra correspondent reported six leaders of the Awami League, five of the BNP and one of Jamaat had submitted nomination for the chairman’s position in the Dhunat upazila council.
The Jessore correspondents reported that four leaders of the Awami League and five of the BNP had submitted nomination for the position of the Abhaynagar upazila council chairman. In all, 10 people have submitted nomination for the chairman’s position, 12 for that of the vice-chairman and three for the position of vice-chairperson reserved for women.
The Jhenaidah correspondent reported that BNP leaders were contesting the upazila polls under the banner of Citizens’ Society. In all, 25 people filed nomination for the positions of upazila council chairman in four upazilas in the district.
The Sirajganj correspondent reported that 11 BNP leaders, 9 Awami League leaders and 2 Jamaat leaders, among others, had submitted nomination for the positions of chairman in four upazilas in the district.
The Barisal correspondent reported that 32 candidates in all — including AL and BNP leaders — had filed nomination for elections to two upazilas in the district.
The Magura correspondent reported that seven leaders of the Awami League and 13 of the BNP had submitted nomination for the position of the sadar upazila council chairman.
The Pabna correspondent reported that four BNP leaders, three AL leadrs and two Jamaat leaders had submitted nomination for the positions of chairman in three upazilas in the district.
The Panchagar correspondent reported that 10 leaders of the BNP, nine of the Awami League and three of Jamaat had submitted nomination for the positions of chairman in four upazilas in the district.




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