Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Withdrawal Orders

Little response from ministers’, MPs’ relatives

DailySun || Shining BD

Published: 4/20/2024 6:00:41 AM

Prime Minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina’s directives for the relatives of ministers and MPs to withdraw from the Upazila Parishad elections have met with little response.

No candidates, who are relatives of ministers and lawmakers, have withdrawn from the race yet with only a state minister asking his relative to quit.

A number of ministers and MPs, who have fielded their children and relatives in the polls, said they are trying to understand how strict the party will actually be.

According to them, their relatives will take time to decide on the withdrawal from the election race.

Polls will be held in 150 upazilas in the first phase on 8 May. In the first phase, children, family members and close relatives of ministers and MPs are running as chairman candidates in 14 upazilas.

Besides, some other ministers and MPs have announced their relatives as candidates in other phases of the local body polls.

However, only State Minister for Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak has asked his brother-in-law Lutfol Habib Rubel to withdraw his candidacy from the race, respecting the party decision.

It is to be mentioned that the ruling party has ordered the children, family members and close relatives of the party’s ministers and MPs to withdraw from the upazila elections to make the polls competitive.

AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader informally shared the decision with the divisional organising secretaries, saying if anyone disobeys the order, he/she will face strict organisational punishment.

Following the party decision, Palak has instructed his brother-in-law Rubel to withdraw his candidacy.

Rubel, also joint general secretary of Singra upazila Awami League in Natore, is accused of masterminding the abduction of another chairman candidate Delwar Hossain.

Palak offered an apology for the incident, saying he is ashamed of the abduction.

While talking to reporters after visiting injured Delwar Hossain at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital on Friday, he also vowed proper punishment for the perpetrators of the incident. “I’m ashamed, sorry and I apologise. Police will investigate and take action against those involved in the incident,” he said, emphasising that no one will be spared even if they are a minister’s relatives.

He talked to Delwar Hossain’s brothers and inquired about his health to the doctor on duty.

“I was abroad. I returned home on Thursday night. However, I’ve always kept myself updated on the incident from there. I couldn’t have imagined that such an incident would happen in Natore,” Palak added.

A group of people abducted Delwar Hossain from the district election office on a microbus on 15 April. He was left in front of his house several hours later.

Police have already arrested two persons for physically assaulting the candidate.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission served a show-cause notice on Rubel asking him to appear at the EC Secretariat on 22 April to explain why his candidature should not be cancelled.

Shining BD