BNP bloc united, AL not in Barisal
Apparently taking lessons from past mistakes and regarding unity as the best strength, the opposition BNP and its allies have successfully got together ahead of the third Barisal City Corporation election scheduled for June 15, said party insiders.
In 2008, BNP-backed Sharfuddin Ahmed Santu was defeated by a small margin of 587 votes by Awami League's Shawkat Hossain Hiron. Shantu got 46,208 votes while Hiron bagged 46,795.
Participation of two more local BNP leaders--Ahsan Habib Kamal and Ebaidul Huq Chan--in that election was considered a major factor for Santu's defeat, as the BNP vote bank was spilt into three candidates.
Since the BNP-led 18-party alliance backed BNP district (south) unit President Ahsan Habib Kamal this time, two other leaders--BNP city unit General Secretary Kamrul Ahsan Shahin and former BNP district unit General Secretary Ebaidul Huq Chan--withdrew from the mayoral run.
However, the situation for the ruling AL seems to be the opposite. The AL-led 14-party alliance is still divided as a Jubo League leader refused to pull out of the election.
The ruling alliance on May 10 officially backed outgoing mayor and city AL President Shawkat Hossain Hiron but Mahmudul Haque Khan Mamun, joint convener of city Jubo League, decided to remain in the race, which, according to insiders, will be damaging for Hiron. Jatiya Party declared to support Hiron.
Laskar Nurul Huq, election coordinator for the 14-party alliance, said Khan Mamun even ignored the repeated call for withdrawal by central Jubo League and AL leaders. He claimed that the alliance was unitedly electioneering for Hiron.
Mamun said he was campaigning regularly with his activists.
BNP city unit President Mojibor Rahman Sarwar MP said the alliance decided to remain united and back Kamal because public opinion would be reflected in this election.