BNP candidate crisis in CHT
BNP is facing severe leadership crisis in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) as three top leaders in Khagrachhari, Bandarban and Rangamati hill districts are either in jail or inactive.
In absence of 'competent' candidates in the three hill districts to contest in the coming national elections, quite a few district level leaders of BNP are seeking party nomination, adding to the intra-party feud, party sources said.
Former deputy minister for CHT Affairs Ministry and Rangamati BNP leader Moni Swapan Dewan joined Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in 2006, former Khagrachhari BNP lawmaker Abdul Wadud Bhuiyan is in jail and convicted in cases for graft and other crimes while former Bandarban district BNP chief and former Bandarban District Council chairman Mayma Ching is now inactive.
As BNP has failed to create popular leadership in Rangamati during the last couple of decades, district BNP has to look for a suitable candidate from new faces shortly before national elections.
Moni Swapan Dewan, who joined BNP before the past eighth parliamentary election, contested in Rangamati constituency and won the 2001 election defeating former lawmaker and Rangamati district Awami League (AL) President Dipankar Talukder.
Now several leaders of Rangamati BNP including former district joint judge Dipen Dewan, district BNP president Nazim Uddin Ahmed, his son and district Chhatra Dal President Md Mamunur Rashid Mamun and pourasava BNP President Md Shah Alam are trying to get party nomination for the upcoming election.
District BNP Secretary Zahir Ahmed has been convicted in a graft case.
Khagrachhari BNP is also facing severe intra-party feud, especially after 1/11.
Internal conflict intensified after scrapping of the newly formed 11-member district convening committee in the face of opposition from rivals.
Former BNP lawmaker and influential party leader Abdul Wadud Bhuiyan cannot contest in Khagrachhari constituency in the coming national election as he has been convicted in several cases for graft and other crimes.
Khagrachhari BNP is now divided into three factions, making its fate uncertain in the coming election as each group is determined to field its candidate.
Former district BNP President Mohammed Abul Kashem, elder brother of Wadud Bhuiyan, Belayet Hossain and Khagrachhari Poura BNP secretary Mohammed Rafique and a few others leaders have started lobbying with the party high ups for nomination and most leaders are now in Dhaka, party insiders said.
In Bandarban BNP, there is a long-standing internal conflict as district chairperson Mayma Ching and senior vice-president Sachingprue Zeri are leading two persons.
The rift in Bandarban BNP intensified centring the formation of a new 55-member convening committee after dissolution of the 101-member full-pledged district committee.
Former district unit secretary advocate Kazi Mohtul Hossain Jatna and Sachingprue Zeri are leading the newly formed convening committee.
Many top ranking leaders including former district BNP chairperson Mayma Ching, senior vice-president Osman Goni, vice-president Lusai Moung Marma, student affairs secretary Moshiur Rahman and member Arif Uddin were left out from the new convening committee, worsening the feud.
Zeri's faction is conducting campaign as a party candidate for the election while the leaders and activists loyal to Mayma Ching are opposing the bid.
Bandarban BNP has so far failed to build a leadership acceptable to all communities in the area.