Dinajpur, Joypurhat: Rift opens up in AL as campaign starts
With Awami League candidates facing competition from their "independent" counterparts in Dinajpur and Joypurhat, rifts have started to take place within the party's grassroots following the beginning of electioneering on Monday.
In many places, independents and their supporters have been facing obstacles from supporters of the AL candidates in conducting their campaigns.
Since Monday night, sporadic incidents of pre-polls violence have taken place in Kalai upazila of Joypurhat, along with Dinajpur's Birganj and Chirirbandar upazilas.
In Kalai, which is under Joypurhat-2, eight people were injured in clashes. An independent candidate, Golam Mahfuz Chowdhury Abosor, also general secretary of AL's Joypurhat district unit, claimed them to be his supporters.
Mahfuz alleged that his supporters were campaigning for him at Matrai Bazar in the upazila on Monday afternoon when supporters of AL candidate Abu Sayeed Al Mahmud Swapan attacked them.
Mahfuz and his supporters later held a protest rally in front of the office of Joypurhat deputy commissioner and Returning Officer Saleheen Tanvir Gazi.
Local AL leaders were present at the rally.
RO Saleheen Tanvir said he received a verbal complaint over the incident, and action will be taken following investigation.
In Birganj under Dinajpur-1, around 2,000 supporters of AL-backed candidate Manoranjan Shill Gopal attempted to take control of Birganj upazila AL office on Monday night, but failed as the supporters of Md Zakaria Zaka, independent candidate and also president of Birganj upazila unit AL, foiled the bid.
Tariqul Islam, a member of Dinajpur district AL and an independent contender of Dinajpur-4 (Chirirbandar and Khansama) alleged that his supporters have been facing obstacles from AL candidate AH Mahmood Ali's supporters during electioneering.
However, he has yet to file any written complaint.
On the other hand, Manik Bosak, head of election campaigns of Biswajit Ghosh Kanchan, an independent from Dinajpur-3 and also former general secretary of Dinajpur Sadar upazila unit AL, made similar allegations against supporters of AL's candidate and former whip M Iqbalur Rahim.
Shakil Ahmed, Dinajpur RO and DC, said he would look into the matter after receiving written or verbal complaints from the candidates.
Contacted, Altafuzzaman Mita, general secretary of Dinajpur district unit AL, said he was unaware of any of these incidents.