Vol. 5 Num 805 Thu. August 31, 2006  

Greater Rangpur,Dinajpur
Alliance tickets for JP will be a big blow for Jamaat

Jamaat-e-Islami's plan to expand it's network in greater Rangpur and Dinajpur districts and bag more seats in the coming election by using BNP's 'shield' will be shattered if Jatiya Party joins the four-party alliance, according to political observers.

There are 33 parliamentary seats in the region22 in greater Rangpur and 11 in greater Dinajpur.

Contesting alone, Jamaat fielded candidates in all the seats and got only two seats in the region in 1996 election. BNP got three seats two in Panchagarh and the other in Dinajpur Sadar. Awami League got 10 seats and the rest 18 went JP.

Using BNP's influence in the name of alliance in 2001 election, Jamaat got four seatsNilphamari-1, Gaibandha -1 and Dinajpur-6 and Dinajpur-1.

Of the rest 30 seats, JP bagged 14, BNP 9, and AL got 6 in 2001 election.

The constituencies from where Jamaat contested in 2001 election are Thakurgaon-1(Abdul Hakim), Dinajpur-1 (Abdullah Hil-Kafi), Dinajpur 6 (Azizur Rahman), Nilphamari 2 (Abdul Latif), Nilphamari-3 (Mizanur Rahman Chowdhury), Lalmonirht-1 (Abu Hena Md Ershad Hossen), Lalmonirhat-2 (Md. Mozibur Rahman), Rangpur-1 (Abdul Gani), Rangpur-2 (ATM Azharul Islam), Rangpur-5 (Hifizur Rahman), Kurigram-3 (Abdul Latif), Gaibandha-1 (Md. Abdul Aziz and Gaibandha-3 (Prinicpal Nazrul Islam).

In the coming election, Jamaat is demanding seats as a partner in the ruling alliance.

Jamaat is demanding 28 seats in the region and 60 across the country in next election.

Sources said, Jamaat targeted this region as it is a poverty stricken and the people are religious and simple-hearted.

It's prospective candidates have already started campaign in their respective areas.

The party has changed campaign tactics. It is not shouldering the government's alleged failure in checking price spiral, maintaining law and order and incidents of harassment of opposition leaders and minority community people at places.

It is blaming BNP for these and trying to prove its innocence, taking the advantage of having no party representation in parliament from the areas concerned, political observers said.

In campaign, Jamaat leaders tactfully avoid other issues and concentrate only on political issues, mainly criticising Awami League.

A number of BNP leaders talking to this correspondent said Jamaat's campaign policy in the region is to keep them aloof from non-political issues to present themselves as 'clean man'. At places, they even shift the blame on the prime minister, the BNP leaders said.

But Jamaat's dream has been shattered with the possibility of JP's joining the alliance.

JP is claiming most of the sets in this region in the coming election.

The JP central vice president Ahsan Ahmed said that JP has strong footing in the region.

He said JP bagged 14 seats in last election and its candidates got more than 40,000 votes in other 14 constituencies.

"The polls scenario is better for JP now because of government's failure in ensuring power supply, price hike of essentials and rise of militants during the government's tenure", Ahsan said.

He claimed that it is not Jamaat but JP that deserves alliance nomination in all the seats in greater Rangpur and Dinajpur.

He claimed that his party candidates are in better position now in constituencies where Jamaat won with alliance ticket in last election.

He said his party, with alliance nomitees, would rout Jamaat from greater Rangpur and Dinajpur.

Wen contacted, Moniruzzaman Nontu, vice-president of Nilphamari district Jamaat and convener of sadar upazila unit of the party claimed that his party is in good position in many of the constituencies.

He said Jamaat has good organisational strength with dedicated leaders and workers. We were in second position in many constituencies before 1996 election and our position has improved, he claimed.