Chattogram-8: A three-way battle on the cards

3 months ago 44

With the 12th parliamentary election knocking at the door, candidates in Chattogram-8 constituency (Boalkhali-Chandgaon) are busy campaigning till midnight every day.

They are trying to sway voters in their favour by pledging several commitments to be met if they get elected as lawmakers.

According to locals, a tripartite battle is going to take place for the seat, especially in the absence of any candidate from the ruling Awami League.

AL withdrew its candidate from Chattogram-8, leaving the seat for the Jatiyo Party candidate as part of its seat-sharing policy.

Solaiman Alam Seth, JP's central vice chairman, is running the electoral race with "plough" (JP's electoral symbol) from this constituency.

However, despite no one running with the "boat," two AL leaders are vying for this seat as independent candidates.

The two independents are AL Chattogram city unit treasurer Abdus Salam, also a former chairman of Chattogram Development Authority, and Bijoy Kumar Chowdhury, an executive member of Chattogram city unit AL and a former councilor of Chattogram City Corporation.

According to locals, a group of AL leaders, including Chattogram city unit vice president Khorshed Alam Sujan, are supporting Salam, while another group of AL leaders, including Chattogram city unit general secretary AJM Nasir Uddin, are supporting Bijoy.

The AL leaders are regularly seen in the campaigns and rallies for the two candidates, said locals.

Meanwhile, no significant AL leaders are seen in the campaigns for JP candidate Solaiman, they added.

Locals claimed that although 10 candidates are vying for polls in this constituency, these three candidates are ahead in campaigning in the area.

"Initially, it seemed like the voting battle would be held mainly between Solaiman and Salam, but Bijoy has strongly joined the competition through an all-out election campaign," said Mizanur Rahman, a local in Chandgaon area.

"Moreover, many heavyweight AL leaders, including former CCC mayor AJM Nasir Uddin, have been campaigning for Bijoy, which might also make a difference in this battle," he added.

Asked why he was not campaigning for the JP candidate, Khorhed Alam Sujan said the party hasn't given them any instructions to campaign for the JP candidate.

"Although the party withdrew its candidate, it did not say the candidate was withdrawn in favour of a specific candidate," he said.

"As there is no candidate from AL, we have been electioneering for candidates as per our choice," he added.

However, Solaiman claimed AL leaders were electioneering for him.

"AL has withdrawn its candidate, leaving the seat for me," he said, adding, "There is no scope for misunderstanding."

Contacted, Salam said he is confident about his win. "Wherever I am going for electioneering, I am getting a huge response from voters," he said.

Bijoy could not be reached for comment despite several attempts.

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