6 reasons behind 4-party's poll debacle in Sylhet divn | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 31, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 31, 2008

6 reasons behind 4-party's poll debacle in Sylhet divn

Grand alliance bags all 19 seats

People and political circles in the city are analysing the causes for the polls the debacle of 4-party alliance in Sylhet division where Awami League (AL)-led grand alliance bagged all the 19 seats.
Seventeen of the winners are AL leaders while the two others are JP men.
As evident from post-election discussions in the city, common people identified at least six reasons for the stunning defeat of the BNP-led alliance in all the six seats in Sylhet district that also felt the countrywide wave for a change.
The Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina's commitment to take steps for reducing prices of essentials including rice convinced the common people to some extent as they compared the past BNP-led alliance rule with the previous one by the AL.
Failure to check militant activities during the alliance rule had played a role to shift the support of voters, especially those belonging to the middle class, said Abdul Haque Khan, a grocer at Subidbazar in the city.
“Many people thought the allegations of looting national wealth by the BNP-led alliance were true as a number of former ministers, former lawmakers and leaders were jailed,” said Shamsu Miah, a tea stall owner in the city.
Organised campaign by the Awami League-led grand alliance also acted behind their win, Badal Paul, a student of MC College, said.
City Mayor Badar Uddin Ahmed Kamran played a very important role, especially among the poor and middle class people, to convince them to work for AL stalwart AMA Muhith, Badal said.
On the other hand, BNP leader M Saifur Rahman's camp was unorganised and suffering from internal feuds, he said.
In Sylhet-2, expatriate Shafiqur Rahman Chowdhury, joint secretary of the UK chapter of the AL, succeeded in defeating M Ilyas Ali, the district convener of BNP, by a small margin of 3,300 votes, the lowest gap in the region.
Shafique managed to minimise internal feud among party leaders while shifting of three unions with over 30,000 voters from Balaganj upazila acted against Ilyas Ali, who had a good base there.
In Sylhet-3, AL candidate industrialist Mahmud Us Samad Chowdhury won victory this time although he had failed in three previous polls. He defeated another industrialist BNP's Shafi Ahmed Chowdhury by over 43,000 votes. Here BNP rebel Abdul Quaiyum Chowdhury, vice president of central Jubo Dal, managed some 12,042 votes as independent runner. Quaiyum, also a former APS to the then finance minister, was however expelled three days before the election. Mahmud Us Samad managed support from a good number of voters of the three unions, which were shifted to the constituency from Sylhet-2.
In Sylhet-4, grand alliance candidate Imran Ahmed, winner in 1996 election, got a big win against four-party alliance's Dilder Hossain Selim, who won in 2001 election, by 45,500 votes. There were huge allegations of corruption against Selim while Imran has enjoyed a 'clean man image' for long. About a lakh stone quarry labourers also played a good role for bringing a 'change', locals said.
In Sylhet-5, AL-led alliance's former lawmaker Hafiz Ahmed Mazumder defeated Jamaat's former lawmaker Moulana Farid Chowdhury by 31,000 votes. Mazumder too has a 'clean man image' in addition to his family contribution for spreading the light of education in the backward area for ages. Mazumder, also the chairman of Pubali Bank Limited, runs a trust for the educational institutions in his constituency for long.
The Jamaat leader, who won in 2001 election, suffered much due to rift with BNP men. Besides, there are allegations that he failed to conduct development activities in the areas dominated by BNP men.
In Sylhet-6, AL's former lawmaker Nurul Islam Nahid won by 87,000 votes.
Obviously he gained much from the serious feuds within the four-party alliance.
Syed Mokbul Hossain, who became a lawmaker as an independent candidate in 2001, later joined BNP but distanced himself from party activities by taking stand against alleged corruptions of BNP stalwart Saifur Rahman and his son Naser Rahman since late 2005.
This time Jamaat's Moulana Habibur Rahman was fielded as alliance candidate while Mokbul also ran as an independent candidate. This helped Nahid to get an easy win.

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