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Jamaat all smiles as BNP still to placate others
Rashed Ahmed Mitul
Main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party seems to have struck a happy deal with Jamaat-e-Islami sharing 25 electoral seats with it while pleasing Gono Forum and other allies remains a task to be done.
In the 11th parliament polls scheduled for December 30, BNP is willing to share maximum 60 out of 300 parliamentary seats with its allies against a demand for around 150.
The main opposition, meanwhile, has given nominations to around 800 of its aspirants as many facing numerous cases fear cancellation of candidature.
‘There is no question of discontent. We wanted and they have given us,’ Jamaat nayeb-e-amir Golam Parwar said on Thursday.
He was asked whether Jamaat, which recently lost registration and is a key ally of BNP-led alliance, is satisfied with 25 seats given over to them against their primary demand for 53 seats.
Talking to New Age, Parwar, who filed nomination for Khulna-5, said that as they were in elections with BNP’s nomination certificates, they would contest definitely the election with sheaf of paddy, BNP’s electoral symbol.
The Jamaat leader said that out of the 25 seats, nomination paper for Rangpur-5 seat was not submitted as the retuning officer did not receive it.
BNP has been in negotiation over sharing seats with its two alliances Jatiya Oikya Front and 20-party alliance-led by the party.
Jatiya Oikya Front’s component Gono Forum, led by Dr Kamal Hossain, is likely to claim the maximum seats from main opposition BNP.
As BNP failed to settle seat sharing with the components of the Front before the last date for submission of nomination papers that expired on Wednesday, the registered parties in JOF — BNP, Gono Forum, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, led by ASM Abdur Rob, and Krishak Sramik Janata League of Abdul Kader Siddique — filed the nomination papers individually.
The lone unregistered Nagorik Oikya of Mahmudur Rahman Manna submitted nomination papers with nomination certificates of BNP.
Around 111 candidates of Gono Forum, 60 of JSD (Rob) and 23 of KSJL submitted nomination papers.
Nagorik Oikya central leader Zahed-ur-Rahman said they submitted nine nomination papers with BNP’s nomination certificates including Bogra-2 for the party’s convener Mahmudur Rahman.
A number of prominent figures either joined Gono Forum or have kept in touch with it ahead of the elections to get the ticket of Jatiya Oikya Front formed on October 13 to press for fair and neutral polls.
The persons who separately joined Gono Forum in November include Awami League’s former state minister for information Abu Sayeed, former AL leader and retired major general Amsaa Amin, economist Reza Kibria, son of the late Awami League’s finance minister ASM Kibria and some retired army and air force officers.
BNP may share maximum 15 seats with Gono Forum, the party leaders said.
Gono Forum executive president Subrata Chowdhury on Wednesday said they had no specific demand for seat, saying those who were competent should get nomination from the JOF.
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, also spokesperson of JOF, on Tuesday said that they would share not more than 60 seats with their allies.
JOF and BNP-led alliance decided to contest the upcoming poll with common symbol of paddy sheaf.
BNP gave around 40 nomination letters to the components of the alliance, led by the party, confirming nominations, the party sources said.
‘We will not give sheaf of paddy to any war criminals,’ said BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan at a news briefing at the party’s central office on Thursday.
‘Where is the problem if anyone did not commit war crime. There are freedom fighters in Jamaat,’ said Nazrul, one of the members of BNP’s three-member committee to negotiate parliamentary seats with its allies.
He made the remarks responding to a question as to giving the party nomination certificates to 25 Jamaat candidates.
Among these are Jamaat secretary general Shafiqur Rahman for Dhaka-15, nayeb-e-amir ANM Shamsul Alam for Chottagram-15, assistant central executive committee member Rafiqul Islam Khan for Sirajganj-4.
BNP has been negotiation seat sharing with its allies mainly of JOF and trying to settle the matter before last date of withdrawal of candidature on December 9.