Who will BNP nominate in Fakhrul’s place?

Nawaz Farhin Antara
Published : 06:00, May 15, 2019 | Updated : 06:00, May 15, 2019

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir was seen while unveiling the party’s manifesto for the 11th Parliamentary Election at a city hotel on Dec 18, 2018.Though Mirza Fakrul Islam Alamgir won from the Bagura 6 constituency in the 11th general election, the BNP secretary general did not take oath as MP. Now, the party and its allies have decided to field candidates in the by-polls slated for Jun 24.
The decision taken at a meeting of the leaders of BNP’s National Standing Committee and the 20-party alliance it leads on Monday, however, has left many wondering about who will represent them in the election.
Fakhrul made the announcement at a 20-party alliance meeting held at the BNP chairperson's Gulshan office later in the evening.
He said the party will also nominate a candidate for its reserved seat for women.
Party sources said that BNP is yet to primarily choose a candidate and that decision may come within one week.
But a Standing Committee member, requesting anonymity, said that the party’s acting chairperson Tareque Rahman’s wife Zubaida Rahman is currently the frontrunner in becoming the Bagura 6 candidate from the alliance, but that will depend on her decision to return home.
Some leaders said if she returns home from the UK, then the party will nominate her without any debate to contest the polls.
BNP Vice-Chairman Selima Rahman said: “Every now and then we hear that Zubaida will join politics, but she is yet to come back. If she returns, it is highly likely that she will be the party candidate [for the Bagura 6 seat].”
Joint Secretary General Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal added the party top brass has initially decided that a central leader will be the candidate for Bagura 6.
The Bagura 6 seat had fallen vacant on Apr 30 after Fakhrul decided against taking oath of office within the deadline.
On Apr 25 and Apr 30, five other BNP candidates elected through the December 30 election took their oaths.
Prior to that, on Mar 7 and Apr 2, two MPs-elect of Gano Forum — BNP’s ally in the Jatiya Oikya Front — were also sworn into parliament.
Reserve seat decision due
The party will also decide within this week on its candidate for one of the parliamentary seats reserved for women, which it got after five BNP MPs took oaths of office last month.
BNP Organizing Secretary Ruhul Quddus Talukder Dulu said: “I think there is a good chance Barrister Rumin Farhana will be selected as reserved seat candidate.”
However, BNP sources said that central leaders were considering one of three women leaders — Assistant International Affairs Secretary Farhana, Jatiyatabadi Mohila Dal President Afroza Abbas and Organizing Secretary Shama Obaid — for the reserved seat.
According to the schedule announced by the Election Commission, the deadline for the submission of nomination papers is May 20, and the nominations will be scrutinized on May 28 before the vote on Jun 16.
Of the 50 reserved seats in the 11th Parliament, 49 were won uncontested by women lawmakers.
Ruling Awami League has 43 women MPs, Jatiya Party has four, while the Workers' Party and independents have one MP apiece — —based on the representation ratio of each party.