Monday, December 15, 2008

An AL candidate's spending spree

Top-Bottom: A slide show being screened for a crowd on the premises of a cold storage in Bagmara as part of the costly election campaign for Enamul Haque in Rajshahi-4 while one of the giant posters displayed by Enamul Haque at a road intersection in Bagmara. Photo: STAR

Exorbitant spending by Awami League candidate millionaire Enamul Haque during his election campaign in Rajshahi-4 (Bagmara) has become a much-talked matter in the constituency. “Enamul is violating the election code of conduct as he is crossing the limit of election expenditure,” said several supporters of Sardar Amjad Hossain, who is contesting as independent candidate after failing to get nomination from Awami League. “I am worried about whether I would be able to survive before Enamul's money,” BNP candidate Abdul Gafur said. Enamul, who stated in his nomination papers that he has wealth worth over Tk 10 crore, employed several hundred workers on daily payment and set up two dozen election offices with multimedia facilities. His speeches are being circulated among people through multimedia projectors and CD players at the election offices. Enamul announced that he would personally arrange Tk 500 monthly allowance for freedom fighters in the constituency, if he is elected. According to his workers, more than one cow is being sacrificed daily for entertaining thousands of visitors to his election offices and money is being distributed quite openly at his meetings. T-shirts with labels of his business institutions are also being distributed among voters. "Haven't you taken your money yet? Go and take it… I came in the morning leaving my work in the field; I got Tk 200 and a packet of food. I took another packet for my family,” said Hasan Ali, a farmer of Bagmara. Hasan Ali is one of over one thousand people who gathered on the premises of Enamul's cold storage on Saturday and yesterday, knowing well that none of them will go empty handed, locals said. “I must vote for Enamul as he is feeding us daily,” said Biswa, a poor resident of Bagmara.Unlike Biswa, there was Mahmud who said, “It is true that I am now taking Enamul's money. But I will consider later whom to vote.”

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