A total of 19 female candidates from Awami League (AL) and six from BNP are trying to secure party nominations for different constituencies in Chattogram in the 11th national polls.
AL sources said three candidates -- Khadizatul Anwar Soni, Syeda Razia Mostafa and Syeda Rifat Akter -- have collected nomination forms for Chattogram-2 (Fatikchhari) constituency while Abida Azad and Nargis Akter have collected forms for Chattogram-4 (Sitakunda) constituency.
Contacted, Soni said she got the party nomination in 2014 polls but sacrificed her candidature for the sake of the greater alliance. Therefore, this time she expects nomination from the party.
“My father was the lawmaker from AL twice in this constituency [Fatikchhari] and worked tirelessly for the people,” she said, adding, “I sacrificed my candidature in 2014 as per the direction of the honourable prime minster, but I have been working in the area since then.”
“If I get the party's nomination, I am confident to win the seat in the [next] election,” Soni said.
Abida Azad, a ward councillor of Chattogram City Corporation (CCC), told The Daily Star, “I have been involved in grassroots politics for 40 years.” “Our party chief Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been working for women's empowerment and so, I expect to get the nomination for Chattogram-4 constituency.”
Basanti Prova Palit collected party nomination form for Chattogram-5 (Hathazari) constituency, while Baby Barua, Jobaira Nargis Khan and Selina Khan collected AL nomination form for Chattogram-8.
Contacted, Basanti said she has been actively involved in politics since 1985 and was women's affairs secretary of the central committee of Awami Jubo League.
“I think, the party would evaluate me and my contribution,” she said, adding, “If I am given nomination, I am confident about my win.”
Meanwhile, Jobaira said being a councillor of CCC five times, she has developed genuine relationship with people of the Chattogram-8 constituency.
Besides, Nazma Akter, Rekha Alam Chowdhury, Cheman Ara Tayab, Wasika Ayesha Khan, Khaleda Akter Chowdhury, Shahida Akter Jahan, Rita Sen, Babita Barua, Advocate Kamrun Nahar and Nigar Sultana have collected AL nomination forms for different constituencies.
Meanwhile, six women candidates are seeking nomination from BNP in the district.
Barrister Shakila Farzana, daughter of former whip of Jatiya Sangsad the late Syed Wahidul Alam, collected BNP nomination forms for Chattogram-5 constituency while Noor E Ara Safa and Jasmina Khanam collected nomination forms for Chattogram-2.
Shakila said, “My father was elected as lawmaker from BNP in this constituency four times. After his death, I continued to maintain a close relationship with people of the area and have been working for them.”
“Considering the political heritage of our family, I expect to get nomination,” she said.
Jasmina said she has always been with the party in movements, and thus expected to get nomination.
“In the spirit of upholding women's empowerment, I hope I will get the nomination,” she said.
Advocate Farida Akter collected BNP nomination form for Chattogram-6 (Raozan) while Begum Fatema Badsha collected nomination form for Chattogram-9.
Fatema claimed she has been involved with BNP since the party's inception. She is the senior vice president of Jatiyatabadi Mohila Dal's city unit.
“I was injured in police attacks several times during movements,” she said, expecting her loyal contributions would secure the nomination.
Besides, Jannatul Nayem Chowdhury Riku collected BNP nomination form for Chattogram-15 constituency.