20-25 BNP leaders may file nomination today
DailySun || Shining BD
A good number of BNP leaders from different levels, including several former lawmakers, are likely to submit nomination papers today at different constituencies across the country to contest the upcoming general election.
As per the election schedule, the deadline for submission of nomination papers ends today while 17 December is the last date for withdrawal of candidacy.
There are speculations that around 20-25 BNP leaders from different tiers, including some former lawmakers and a state minister, may file nomination to contest the polls scheduled to be held as per the current provision of the constitution, the sources said.
The BNP leaders, who may take part in the election, were either expelled from the party or they have remained inactive in the party politics for long while some have been deprived of party posts.
BNP is going to boycott the election as the party along with its allies has been on a movement demanding resignation of the incumbent government to pave the way for the general election to be held under a caretaker government.
They have decided to intensify the movement after the expiry of the nomination paper submission deadline and are preparing to thwart the election.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan on Tuesday said the BNP leaders, who are unhappy with the leadership of their acting Chairman Tarique Rahman, are going to participate in the polls. “I have information that those who have reservations to accept Tarique as their leader are now preparing to join the polls,” he said.
Former BNP Vice-Chairman Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury, who stepped down from the party, and expelled BNP Chairperson Advisory Council member Taimur Alam Khandaker are now leading Trinamool BNP as its chairperson and secretary general respectively and they will take part in the election.
Among the BNP leaders who are going to join the polls are party Chairperson’s Advisory Council member Syed AK Ekramuzzaman and national executive committee member Shah Md Abu Jafar.
Of them, Ekramuzzaman collected nomination paper to contest the polls from Brahmanbaria-1 while Shah Md Abu Jafar has joined BNM as its acting chairman and will vie from Faridpur 4 constituency. BNP has expelled both of them from the party.
Former BNP lawmaker and Assistant Industry and Commerce Affairs Secretary Ashraf Uddin Nizan is likely to contest the election from Lakshmipur-4 as an independent candidate. Earlier in August, he announced that he would contest the polls and started campaign since then.
Expelled BNP leader and former MP Major (retd) Akhtaruzzaman in TV talk shows announced that he may contest the polls from Kishoreganj-2.
Three more former BNP lawmakers -- one from Pabna-4, another from Narsingdi-4 and the other from Bogura-6 -- and a former state minister are also likely to submit nomination papers to contest the polls as independent candidates.
Besides, some mid-level central and district leaders may also join the polls going beyond the party decision.
Insiders said the independent candidates will start campaign after submitting nomination papers and they will try to involve BNP activists in the electioneering.
Ruling Awami League thinks if some BNP leaders and former lawmakers come to the election, this will give the election a competitive shape.
If such is the case, the ruling party will also extend cooperation to the candidates, insiders said.
BNP sources said the party high command has decided that if any leader or activist participates in the election defying party decision, they will be expelled from party’s all posts and their primary membership will also be revoked on charge of violating the party discipline.
On behalf of former MP and BNP’s Narayanganj district unit convener Muhammad Gias Uddin and his son Muhammad Kaisar, two nomination papers were collected from the district returning officer’s office for participating in the election as independent candidates from Narayanganj-4 constituency.
However, Gias Uddin who was elected MP on BNP ticket in 2001 told newsmen later that he did not send anyone to collect nomination papers on their behalf. He also said he as well as his son applied to withdraw the nomination papers.
BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi alleged that the government is coercing some leaders of the opposition parties into joining the election.