Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Grassroots leaders ignored as 8 new faces get BNP ticket

Selection follows 'suggestion' of jailed, absconding leaders

The BNP has fielded eight new faces, including three alternative candidates, for constituencies in Rajshahi and Natore districts mainly upon recommendations of jailed and absconding leaders while sidelining grassroots party men.Three of the new faces are relatives of former BNP stalwarts who are either in jail or staying abroad being convicted in cases for abetting militancy and three BNP nominees are still facing corruption charges.Former BNP lawmaker Abu Hena, who had earlier criticised those BNP stalwarts for their role behind militancy, has been dropped. Before recommending party leaders for nomination, local unit leaders did not hold any grassroots leaders' meeting that was made mandatory in the Representation of People Order (RPO).Rather, the local units followed recommendations of the jailed and fleeing leaders and sent names of their chosen persons to the BNP's central committee for party tickets.“The new electoral rules made us optimistic about scope for creation of new leadership in the party. But the selections have made the new rules ineffective,” said a deprived BNP leader. Among the new faces, former inspector general of police Enamul Haque was given party ticket for Rajshahi-1 (Tanore-Godagari) constituency. Enamul is brother of former BNP minister Aminul Haque, who went abroad after 1/11 changeover last year and later convicted in a case for patronising militancy. Several leaders of BNP and Jamaat-e Islami told this correspondent that Aminul had called them on their cell phones from abroad and lobbied for Enamul's nomination.City BNP former president lawyer Ekhlak Hossain was made the alternative candidate for this seat because Enamul might face electoral bar as his removal from government job of a law commission member is yet to pass three years.Former Rajshahi mayor Mizanur Rahman Minu has been nominated for Rajshahi-2 (city area) although he is still in jail being arrested in connection with three corruption cases, a criminal case and a case for dodging taxes. He was, however, acquitted in an extortion case recently.Former BNP lawmaker Kabir Hossain submitted his nomination papers for newly created Rajshahi-3 (Paba-Mohonpur) constituency.Replacing Abu Hena, Bagmara upazila BNP President Abdul Gafur was chosen for Rajshahi-4 (Bagmara) constituency as Minu recommended for him. Tofazzal Hossain, a contractor was also given party ticket as an alternative candidate for this seat. Recently listed as a terrorist suspect in the book of Rajshahi Metropolitan Police, Tofazzal is also blamed for criminal activities over tenders at different government offices during BNP-Jamaat rule. In Rajshahi-5 (Puthia-Durgapur), Nazrul Islam has been given BNP ticket over Minu's suggestion. Nurun Nahar Parul, wife of former BNP lawmaker Nadim Mostafa, also submitted nomination paper here.Nadim is facing two corruption cases, a murder charge, one case for extortion and one for cheating.He was acquitted in two criminal cases and one extortion case against him is now stayed.Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul who sought party ticket for this seat was overlooked as he emerged as a competitor of Minu through participating in the August 4 Rajshahi City Corporation polls.District BNP President Azizur Rahman, also a follower of Minu, submitted his nomination paper with the party ticket.Former state minister Fazlur Rahman Patal, an accused in a corruption case, was chosen for Natore-1 (Lalpur-Bagatipara) seat.In Natore-2 (Natore Sadar) constituency, Sabina Yasmin Chhobi was given the party ticket. Chhobi is wife of former BNP deputy minister Ruhul Kuddus Talukhdar Dulu, who is suffering jail term being convicted in two cases for terrorism and charged in three cases for abetting militancy.Former lawmaker Mozammel Haque submitted party ticket in Natore-4 (Boraigram-Gurudaspur) constituency. He is an accused in two cases for extortion and corruption.Former lawmaker Kazi Golam Morshed was nominated for Natore-3 (Shingra).

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