Vol. 5 Num 818 Thu. September 14, 2006  

Khagrachhari AL 'dumps' Kalpa Ranjan Chakma
Indifference to party alleged by party leaders

Intra-party feud in Khagrachhari Awami League has deepened with majority of front ranking leaders opposing nomination of former minister and lawmaker Kalpa Ranjan Chakma from the parliamentary seat for his alleged indifference to party activities for long.

Kalpa Ranjan Chakma lost to 4-party alliance candidate Wadud Bhuiyan by 38,550 votes in 2001 election. Party men alleged that since then, most of the time kept himself away from party activities and other programmes in the district.

He did not stand by party men while several hundred activists were tortured and harassed allegedly by BNP Men and police by filing false cases, alleged AL general secretary Zahedul Alam while talking to this correspondent.

Zaher claimed that during the crisis he along with party president Zatindra Lal Tripura, vice-president Kujendra Lal Tripura, Panchhari College principal Samir Datta Chakma and other leaders steered the party.

Kalpa Ranjan even did not attend the August 15 programme in the district marking the death anniversary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, he added.

His recent move to regain his position in the party here has virtually angered leaders and activists. Mentionably, Kalpa Ranjan's workers recently displayed posters reading 'Kalpa Babur Bikalpa Na (no alternative to Kalpa Ranjan Chakma) in different areas of the district.

The party high-ups have been informed about Kalpa Ranjan's present position in the party and workers attitude towards him, said its incumbent president Zatindra Lal Tripura at a press conference on August 27.

Front ranking leaders including Zahedul Alam were present at the press conference.

Zatinda told the press conference that AL will regain the Khagrachhari parliamentary seat if any body except Kalpa Ranjan is nominated in the coming election.

"Despite repression and harassment by ruling party men we reorganised the party at grassroots level and regained strength without him (Kapala Ranjan)", he said.

"As a minister he had many things to do in Khagrachari. Awami League gave him so much but he did not give anything to the party here", Zatindra said.

Prof Samir Datta Chakma, a nomination seeker, also echoed the same sentiment.

"Now the party is united and we have formed committees at village level without help of Kalpa Ranjan Chakma", he said.

He said, on August 23, when 14-party convenor in Chittagong ABM Mohiuddin came to Khagrachhari leading the opposition long marched, Kalpa Ranjan Chakma received him at Ramgour with about 400 loyalists. "We received him at Khagrachhari with at least 50,000 party activists including women. This proves his position in the party here, Samir Kumar said.

Seeking anonymity, some other party leaders even alleged that Kalpa Ranjan is working as 'B team' of BNP lawmaker Wadud Buiyan.

When contacted, Kalpa Ranjan Chakma claimed that he has contact with party high-ups and would be the 14-party nominee from Khagrachhari in coming election.

Party sources said besides Kalpa Ranjan, six AL leaders may vie for nomination. They are Zatindra Lal Tripura, Zahedul Alam, Kujendra Lal Tripura, Prof Samir Nath Chakma former ambassador S S Chakma and newcomer Gayano Biash Chakma.

(L-R) Kalpa Ranjan Chakma , S S Chakma, Zahedul Alam