Vol. 4 Num 77 Tue. August 12, 2003  

BNP, AL rev for Netrakona polls

Both the ruling BNP and main opposition Awami League have launched their biggest ever polls campaign in the remote Netrokona-3 constituency in a desperate bid to win the August 21 parliamentary by-election.

The seat fell vacant following the death of BNP lawmaker Nurul Amin Talukder, who was also elected to the immediate past parliament.

Top leaders and MPs of both the parties are arriving in the constituency comprising Kendua and Atpara upazilas for mass contact and public rallies in favour of their respective candidates, sources in the two parties said.

The BNP-led four-party alliance has nominated Khadija Amin, widow of Nurul Amin Talukder, and the AL has fielded Zubed Ali, who was elected from the constituency several times till the 5th parliament.

Both the BNP and the AL have formed dozens of teams led by party stalwarts to visit the constituency and seek votes for their respective candidates. The BNP has also set up a liaison office at Netrokona to coordinate its polls camapign.

The AL has formed 22 teams and central leader Abdus Samad Azad formally started the campaign on Saturday addressing public meetings and rallies. The party high command has also asked AL MPs from greater Mymensingh and party candidates in the last general election to join the campaign.

The BNP's campaign was launched on Sunday with central leaders taking part. The party leadership as asked as many as 47 party MPs, including State Minister for Home Lutfuzzaman Babar, Rajshahi City Corporation Mayor Mizanur Rahman Minu and Whip Rezaul Bari Dina, to rush to Kendua-Atpara and conduct door-to-door campaign.

Advisor to the prime minister Prof. Jahanara Begum is due to lead the campaign today.

BNP Secretary General Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan will address public meetings on August 18.

The BNP lawmakers have been asked to follow the code of conduct prepared by the Election Commission and not to use any government facilities during the polls campaign.