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2024-04-20 11:44:07

MP-ministers in dilemma with relatives

Rafiqul Islam Roni

MP-ministers in dilemma with relatives

Awami League has issued a stern directive to the family members and relatives of the MP-ministers regarding their participation in the upazila elections, leading to a dilemma among several MP-ministers.

While some relatives have complied with the party chief's message and withdrawn their candidacies, others have chosen to disregard the directives, placing the MP-ministers in a challenging position.

The outcome of this directive is poised to influence the future political landscape, as those who fail to heed the party chief's message risk facing consequences. A list is reportedly being maintained to monitor compliance, with actions to be taken accordingly.

Awami League presidium member former agriculture minister Dr Abdur Razzak nominated his cousin Harunur Rashid Hira as a candidate in the Dhanbari upazila election of his constituency. Local leaders filed a written complaint against him. On Friday, an unscheduled discussion was held at the Dhanmondi Awami League president's office around.

Awami League General Secretary, Road Transport and Bridge Minister Obaidul Quader, Presidium member Dr. Abdur Razzak, Organizing Secretary BM Mozammel Haque, Mirza Azam, SM Kamal Hossain, Office Secretary Barrister Biplab Barua, Deputy Office Secretary Sayem Khan were present. The matter of not nominating relatives was discussed.

Several leaders present at the meeting said that Abdur Razzak, who nominated his cousin, argued that Harunur Rashid Hira was the upazila chairman. Again, the one who made a written complaint against him to the party president is also his cousin. He sees nothing wrong in supporting the running upazila chairman. Razzak is said to have sent a message to party president Sheikh Hasina's mobile phone.

While leaving the meeting, he told the media, “One of the people who have been accused about the Upzilla Parishad elections, one is my cousin, the other is also my cousin." One is a running chairman, other was a mayor. We have supported them locally. They also have popularity. I have presented these issues to the team.

“Awami League does not like MPs to interfere in elections and local administration. This is the decision of the leader (Awami League President Sheikh Hasina). So there is no chance of favoritism in the election. Even if you don't go to the area, you can sit in Dhaka on the phone. But we won't do that either. This is what has been talked about,” he added.

Meanwhile, Lutful Habib Rubel, brother-in-law of Post, Telecommunication and Information Technology (ICT) State Minister Junaid Ahmed Palak, beat up the rival candidate to win unopposed and then delivered him home. Party president Sheikh Hasina was angry about this. After returning from outside the country on Friday, Palak visited the injured rival candidate Delwar Hossain at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital.

Palak faced the journalists and expressed his regret for the incident and apologized. At the same time, he instructed his brother-in-law Rubel over the phone to withdraw his candidature from the election.

Awami League's policy-making sources said that instructions have been given to compile a list of those who are running for their relatives. The list will be finalized by Saturday. Distant relatives may be exempted in some cases by reviewing that list. However, the party is very strict about the children, siblings or brothers-in-law of ministers and members of parliament.

MP Mohammad Ali in Hatia Upazila of Noakhali, his wife Ayesha Ferdous was MP twice. This time his wife and son Ashiq Ali have nominated in the upazila polls. However, local people consider Ayesha Ferdous as a 'dummy' candidate.

Mohammad Ali told reporters that he has received instructions from the Centre. But he is waiting. Time will tell what to do.

MP Aftab Uddin Sarkar's cousin Anwarul Sarkar and nephew Ferdous Parvez are voting for the post of upazila chairman in Dimla of Nilphamari. MP Aftab Uddin Sarkar said that he has opposed the nomination of his nephew and cousin from the beginning. Now that the party has decided, he thinks everyone will accept it.

Many of the family members or relatives of the local MP-minister are not willing to withdraw from the Upazila Parishad election field even after the strict instructions of the Awami League President Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. They are trying to stay in the polling field with various strategies. The concerned MP-ministers are also bringing forward various 'arguments and excuses' in their favor.

Many people are also waiting to talk to the leader of the party, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina or direct instructions from her. Apart from this, they want to waste time in various ways. Trying to understand how strict the party position is in the end. After that they want to take the final decision.

(The report was published on print and online versions of The Bangladesh Pratidin on April 20 and rewritten in English by Tanvir Raihan)

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