Nomination scrap sends parties on salvage mission
Non-party candidates turn important
Awami league (AL), BNP and Jatiya Party (JP) are now scrambling to find alternative party nominees for parliamentary constituencies where their original nominees' applications for candidacy were rejected by returning officers.
Meanwhile, some BNP and AL leaders who applied as independents are now vying for party backings as the original nominees in those constituencies had been denied candidacies, although in some constituencies the 'back-ups' or 'independents' loyal to the two electoral alliances had also been declared unfit for contesting in the upcoming general election.
All parties however decided to carry on legal battles against the rejections till the last date for withdrawal of applications for candidature, in order to reinstate their original nominees as candidates.
BNP and AL both still have no candidate in 8 constituencies each, while JP nominees were denied candidacies in 5 constituencies across the country.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday discussed with her party colleagues ways for solving the crisis while an AL central working committee meeting last night deliberated on the vacuum, with party chief Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
AL thinks it might face difficulties finding replacements in five constituencies, although the party lost its candidates in 11 constituencies through the Election Commission (EC) scrutiny, party insiders said.
AL has necessary alternative candidates in the rest of the constituencies, the insiders claimed.
Meeting sources said the party chief is working on the matter.
"Our nominees will appeal against the rejections of their applications for candidacy, as the rejections are not legally sound, because many of them had all necessary documents," Syed Ashraful Islam, acting general secretary also spokesperson of AL, told reporters after the meeting.
BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain urged the EC to reconsider the rejections with more tolerance.
BNP has already replaced Dipen Dewan with Moitree Chakma in Rangamati since the former was declared ineligible, and Shahidul Alam Talukder has been replaced with Faruk Ahmed Talukder in Patuakhali-2, while Giasuddin Quader Chowdhury of Chittagong-5 already got a court order in his favour in connection with a loan defaulting case.
Independent candidate Firoje Alam in Patuakhali-2 might get AL backing as the original nominee ASM Firoje was declared unfit by the election officials.
AL will support its alliance partner JP's candidates where its own nominees were rejected and JP will back AL candidates where its nominees were declared unfit, said grand electoral alliance insiders.
A high profile AL team led by party adviser HT Imam is working on filling the vacuums, the insiders added.
JP yesterday formally announced the names of its 'confirmed candidates', and according to the list a total of 47 of its nominees will contest with grand alliance tickets, although applications of five of the 47 were already rejected by the officials for different reasons including loan defaulting,
AL picked JP leader Nawab Ali Biswas as the grand alliance candidate for Mouovibazar-2 after the returning officer had rejected the application of AL nominee Ataur Rahman Shamim.
MM Shaheen of BNP, who applied as an independent in Mouovibazar-2 might get party support as its nominee Abed Raja was declared ineligible.
AL has no alternative candidate in Pabna-2, where party nominee AK Khandaker was denied candidacy due to defaulting on loan repayment.
The same is the situation for AL in Laxmipur-2 where its nominee Harunur Rashid was denied candidacy.
BNP might support independent candidate AKM Rezaul Karim in Jhalokathi-1 as its official nominee Rafiqul Islam Jalam was declared ineligible, and in Narail-2 Khelafat Majlish leader Emranuzzaman is trying to get BNP support as BNP's nominee Sharif Khasruzzaman's application was rejected there.
According to the latest change in Naogaon-6, local BNP leader Jalal Ahmad Bakul has the party ticket now instead of Anwar Hossain Bulu.
In Sirajganj-5 however the official nominee of BNP and an independent candidate loyal to the party, both were denied candidacies, while Jamaat also did not nominate anyone in that constituency.
In Dhaka-6 BNP replaced Kazi Abul Bashar with Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka as its nominees, although a High Court order prevents the mayor from participating in the polls. No other BNP leader also did file for independent candidacy there.
AL leader AKM Awal may get the support of the grand alliance in Pirojpur-1 as JP nominee Mostafa Jamal Haider was denied candidacy there for loan default, while Anwar Hossain of AL might get the alliance support in Pirojpur-3 as JP nominee Abdul Jabbar's application was rejected there.
In Kurigram-4 Zakir Hossain of AL may get support of grand alliance if JP leader Golam Habib Dulal will fail to win the legal battle against returning officer's decision to cancel his candidature.
JP leader Harunur Rashid, who was grand alliance candidate for Dhaka-7, lost his candidature so that Mostafa Jalal Mohiuddin of AL may get the alliance ticket.
Independent candidate Anwaruzzaman Anwar or Sayeed Hossain Chowdhury may get BNP support for Dhaka-11 as both BNP nominees Mohammad Shahabuddin and MA Hashem for Dhaka-11 lost their candidature.
Major General (retd) Abdus Salam, AL candidate for Mymensing-9 lost candidature and the party will face crises if Salam will fail in legal battle against returning officer's decision as no other AL or JP candidate filed nomination papers there. Local AL leader Abdul Hye filed nomination paper in this seat as Bikalpadhara candidate.
While Al led grand alliance has no candidate even no back up candidates in Munshiganj-3 as both Al leader Idris Ali and JP leader Mojibur Rahman lost their candidature.
Al leader Afsrul Amin may get Al-led allaince's support for Chittagong 9 as alliance nominee JP leaders Morshed Murad Ibrahim lost his candidacy while AL leader Ashraf Ali Khan may get grand alliance support if Fakir Ashraf of JP for Netrokona-2 will fail to win in legal battle against returning officer's decision.
BNP leaders think the party will face difficulties to find alternative candidate in Comilla-4 as party candidate Majeda Ahsan lost her candidature and there are no independent candidate their who are loyal to BNP.
Even the party has no alternative in Chittagong 16 as all the party leaders declared unfit for the poll.
AL led alliance may nominate a JP leader in Feni-2 if Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, who lost candidature will fail to win legal battle while Mohammad Ali of Noakhali-6 already got court order in favour of him.