Vol. 5 Num 874 Sun. November 12, 2006  

Jamalpur BNP bigwigs may join LDP with followers
Renegades to include a former minister and a former lawmaker, sources in the parties claim

Over 4,000 BNP leaders and activists including a former minister and a lawmaker from Jamalpur may join the newly formed Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) led by dissident BNP leaders Prof Badruddoza Chowdhury and Col (Rtd) Oli Ahmed, sources in BNP and LDP said.

The political scenario in Jamalpur started changing after former state minister for power Maj Gen (Rtd) Anwarul Kabir Talukdar joined LDP. Before joining LDP, he held meetings with his followers in his Sarishabari constituency and in other areas in Lamalpur. The meeting in Sarishabari was held a day before the Eid-ul-Fitre, the sources said.

Talukder has a large number of party followers in the district and his image has been enhanced after he joined LDP, they claimed.

On the other hand, intra-party feud in Jamalpur BNP intensified after Talukdar held a press conference in Dhaka recently under the banner of LDP where he disclosed irregularities in power sector during BNP-led alliance government.

Meanwhile, at least 2,000 leaders and activists of BNP and its front organisations in Bakshiganj and Sarishabari upazilas led by former lawmaker from Bakshiganj Ashraf Hossain and Jubo Dal leader Azizul Kabir Talukder, younger brother of former state minister Anwarul Kabir Talukder, have completed preparations to join LDP, local LDP sources claimed. Azizul Kabir Talukder is president of Sarishabai upazila Jubo Dal Talukder, Former lawmaker from Islampur constituency Sultan Mohammad Babu may join LDP along with a large number of party men if he does not get four-party alliance ticket from Islampur constituency in coming election, BNP sources said.

The ticket may go to former cabinet secretary ASM Abdul Halim, who is known to be 'faithful and loyal' to former prime minister and BNP chief Khaleda Zia. He joined BNP by presenting wreaths to Khaleda Zia at her office on October 3.

LDP sources here also claimed that senior BNP leader and former deputy minister for health Sirajul Haque may join LDP if he does not get party ticket from Jamalpur Sadar constituency. Sirajul Haque has 'good connection' with top leaders of LDP, they said.

'Rebel' BNP leader Mostafizur Rahman Babul who ran as an independent candidate in last election from Melandaha-Madarganj constituency is well known for his loyalty and links with LDP leader Anwarul Kabir Talukder.

Political circles are rife with rumours that he would join LDP if he does not get alliance ticket from the constituency.

BNP central committee member Mahbubur Rahman Ansary of Jamalpur, who has 'good understanding' with LDP president Prof Badruddoza Chowdhury, may join LDP with a good number of followers, local LDP sources claimed.

When contacted, Sirajul Haque, Sultan Mahmud Babu and Mahbubur Rahman Ansary however refuted the claims about their possibility of joining LDP.

Local LDP leader Nuruzzaman Talukder Babu, who joined LDP recently, claimed that at least 4,000 leaders and activists in seven upazilas in Jamalpur district will join LDP when Talukder comes here.

"He will come soon and organise his new party", he said. Talukder is yet to come to his home district after joining LDP.

Nuruzzaman Babu however declined to disclose the names of BNP leaders who may join LDP.

Talking to this correspondent, Jamalpur district BNP organising secretary Shamim Ahmed admitted that some party leaders at district and upazila levels who are 'very much close and loyal' to Talukder, may follow him.