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02nd-Feb-2014

Fielding single candidate a challenge

By STAFF REPORTER

The AL and BNP are facing difficulties in selecting 'single candidate' for chairman and vice-chairman in the upcoming Upazila Parishad polls as rebel candidates are in the polls defying the warning of party high-ups.
Both the parties have already taken decision to field single candidate in the election and formed separate teams with top leaders to ensure the matter. The parties have also issued warning of tough disciplinary action against the rebel candidates.
In the last cabinet meeting, the PM asked her cabinet colleagues to ensure single candidate from the AL in the Upazila Parishad elections asking the ministers and state ministers to sit with district level AL leaders of the respective areas.
But more than 250 rebel candidates of the ruling AL so far have been showing interest to participate in the first phase of election in 98 upzilas starting from February.
Apart from it, the AL is also facing pressure from its partners of the alliance to nominate competent candidates from their parties instead of nominating only AL men, as the upzila is a non-political administrative body.
Admitting the fact, AL presidium member Kazi Zafar Ullah said: "There are four rebel candidates on an average in each upzila those who are trying to participate  in the elections. We are trying to nominate one person from each upzila….But it will not be possible to give single candidate in all upzilas."
"As a part of electoral strategy, the AL has decided to back a single candidate in every upazila. Leaders in district units have already started picking up single candidate at their joint meetings. Hope, there will be no more problem in choosing a single candidate, said AL Joint Secretary Mahbub-Ul-Alam Hanif.  
Senior AL leaders have decided to take the local body polls seriously since the BNP led-18 party alliance has now decided to field candidates in the elections.
"We are trying to nominate single candidate by resolving the rebel issue. Senior party leaders have also taken effort to resolve the internal conflict among the grassroot leaders to engage them in the election in full-force," Md Mizbah Uddin Siraj, AL organizing secretary in-charge of Sylhet district said.
Meanwhile, the condition is more or less identical in the BNP. About 200 rebel candidates have expressed their determination to take part in the electoral race.
Senior leaders of BNP said that it would not possible to bar the rebel candidates from taking part in the polls, it the issue is not resolved in the first phase.        
Md Dildar Hossain Selim, vice president of BNP Sylher district unit, said: The elections will be held in six upzilas of Sylhet district in first phase. Now we are trying to field one candidate in one upzila. Hope, the selection will be complete by next Tuesday."
Echoing the same, BNP standing committee member, Lt General [rtd] Mahabubur Rahman said: "The central leaders of BNP are visiting different areas to strengthen the organization in the grtassroots and ensure victory in upzila polls."