Contest for Rangpur-3 is a battle between relatives

Liaqat Ali Badal, Rangpur
Published : 16:19, Sep 22, 2019 | Updated : 14:58, Sep 26, 2019

A combination of file photos show Rahgir Al Mahi Shad Ershad and Hossain Moqbul Shahriar Asif.Two family members of late HM Ershad are competing for the Rangpur-3 by election, the Jatiya Party (JP) candidate is Ershad’s son, Rahgir Al Mahi Shad Ershad while the independent candidate is Ershad’s nephew Hossain Moqbul Shahriar Asif. The pre-election rivalry is heating up as candidates are going from home to home, asking for votes.
Showing respect to Ershad, the ruling Awami League has withdrawn their candidate for the by-election while BNP is taking part with Rita Rahman as candidate.
For 25 years, the seat was under HM Ershad and so, Jatiya Party is desperate to hold on to the seat. That’s why candidacy was given to Shad Ershad. But Ershads nephew, Shahriar Asif, son of Ershad’s younger brother, later Mozammel Huq Lalu, opposes Shad’s candidacy.
He says that Shad is an outsider and has never come to Rangpur and will leave the country after the voting is over.
Shahariar Asif told Bangla Tribune: “I live in Rangpur with my family, have connection with the general people. Most people don’t want to believe that Shad is JP’s candidate.”
He hopes to win with a landslide majority. “The prestige of JPs’ plough symbol has been tarnished by giving the candidacy to an outsider and I am certain, people will vote for my symbol, the motor car.”
Meanwhile, Shad has said that Shahariar Asif is his brother and has the right to compete at the election and he will recognize him as a competitor.
Rangpur city president of Jatiya Party and Mayor Mostafizur Rahman and others are not taking part in Shad’s electoral campaigns.
Mosafizur had said earlier that if Shad is given nomination he will not work for him.
BNP candidate Rita Rahman carried out campaigns in the city and has alleged that campaigning is being hampered and attempts were taken to take away her mike.
“The mike was returned but my memory card was taken away,” she alleges.
Returning officer GM Shahatab Uddin says: “I do not know anything about this and will take steps if there is an official complaint.”
Many districts BNP leaders are not taking part in Rita Rahman’s campaigns. The by-election for Rangpur-3 is set for Oct 5 next and six candidates will be competing.