Monday, December 29, 2008

Fate of 5 talk of town as alliances lock horn

Six Rajshahi Seats
Fates of five senior politicians in Rajshahi have become topic of lively discussion as 28 candidates are contesting with clear signs for major fight between candidates from Awami League (AL)-led grand alliance and BNP-led four-party alliance in six constituencies in the district.

The senior politicians are Mizanur Rahman Minu, Kabir Hossain, Azizur Rahman of BNP, Fazle Hossain Badsha of Workers Party and Sardar Amjad Hossain of Awami League.

As elsewhere in the country, voting will continue non-stop from 8:00am to 4:00pm at 3921 booths of 551 polling centres in Rajshahi city and nine upazilas of the district that has 15,70,798 voters including 7,70,552 male and 8,00,246 female.

Four-party alliance won all the seats in Rajshahi district in 2001 election.

In Rajshahi-1, AL candidate Omar Faruk Chowdhury will take on BNP's newcomer Enamul Haque, a former law commission member and former inspector general of police.

In 2001 election, BNP's barrister Aminul Haque, now fleeing abroad being convicted in a militancy abetting case, won with 21 percent more votes than Chowdhury's. However, internal feud in BNP may work in favour of Chowdhury this time.

M Salauddin Biswas of Bangladesh Kalyan Party is also contesting from this seat.

The main focus of Rajshahi's elections will be in Rajshahi-2 constituency that comprises all the 30 wards of Rajshahi City Corporation.

Grand alliance nominee Fazle Hosain Badsha is once again getting locked into battle with BNP bigwig Mizanur Rahman Minu who enjoys support from Jamaat-e Islami. 

Badsha, also a politburo member of Workers Party, was defeated to Minu in 2002 RCC poll. Authorities are yet to decide Badsha's complaint of polls rigging at many centres during that election.

Minu, who served as Rajshahi mayor for 17 years, also became a lawmaker wining the 2001 election. 

Enamul Haque of Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), Akhtaruzzaman Bablu of Bikalpadhara Bangladesh and Sayeed Mahmud Ilyas are also contesting from the constituency.

Rajshahi-3 will see the main fight between BNP's Liberation War Affairs Secretary Kabir Hossain and AL's Miraj Uddin Mollah, although there is Jamaat-e-Islami candidate Ataur Rahman to weaken BNP's position in the seat.

Earlier Kabir was a BNP lawmaker from Rajshahi-2 seat. 

M Abdul Hye of Progotishil Gonotantrik Dal is also a candidate for the seat.

Sardar Amjad hossain is likely to remain as a factor for both grand alliance and four-party alliance nominees in Rajshahi-4 constituency comprising Bagmara that saw rise of religious militancy a couple of years back.

Amjad developed a vote bank in the region winning the elections of 1970, '73, and '86 from Awami League and '88 and '91 with Jatiya Party ticket. In 2006, he returned to Awami League, but was denied nomination allegedly for his role as a 'reformist' during the state of emergency.

This time Amjad is an independent candidate for the seat.

AL nominee Enamul Haque is an industrialist and newcomer to AL. BNP candidate Abdul Gafur, former president of the upazila BNP, is also a first time contestant in parliament election.

Zinnatul Islam Zinnah of National People's Party, Atikur Rahman of Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal and Mohammad Mohsin Pramanik of CPB are also in the race. 

In Rajshahi-5 (Puthia and Durgapur upazilas), the main battle will be between AL candidate Kazi Abdul Wadud Dara and BNP contestant Nazrul Islam. Both the candidates are new in the electoral race. 

SM Shafiul Azam of Liberal Democratic Party, Abul Kalam Azad of CPB, Moktar Hossain of Bangladesh Tarikat Federation, Shawkat Hossain Khan of National People's Party are also contesting for the seat.

Rajshahi BNP President Azizur Rahman, a former lawmaker will confront AL's new face Shahriar Alam in Rajshahi-6 constituency. 

Maskawat Ahsan of Bikalpadhara and Nurul Islam of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal are other contestants in the seat.

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