Vol. 5 Num 883 Tue. November 21, 2006  

Row Over Ticket from Netrakona-1 Constituency
Seven BNP leaders threaten to join LDP

Seven BNP aspirants for ticket from in Netrakona-1 constituency have united in opposing newcomer Golam Rabbani and threatened to join Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) if he is nominated in the coming election.

Former Jatiya Party (Ershad) lawmaker Golam Rabbani, who was elected from the constituency (Kalmakanda and Durgapur upazilas) in 1988, joined BNP on November 7 at a function held on Netrakona Shahid Miner premises.

He said he joined BNP with assurance from party high-ups that he would be nominated from Netrakona-1 in the coming election.

His joining triggered protest and resentment by local BNP leaders and dashed hopes of seven party men who vied for four-party alliance ticket.

The seven are Durgapur upazila BNP president Hamidur Rahaman Rashed and its former president MA Jinnah, former Kalmakanda upazila BNP president of Muslemuddin Ahmed and its former convenor advocate Abdul Wahab, former Netrakona JCD president Jahangir Alam Masud, Durgapur upazila Juba Dal president Salim Raza and former central JCD leader barrister Kayser Kamal.

They, along with their supporters, brought out a procession at Kalmakanda upazila headquarter Sunday evening against Golam Rabbani and vowed to resist him.

They also asked all BNP leaders and activists in Kalmakanda and Durgapur upazilas not to invite Golam Rabbani to any party activity.

This correspondent talked to all the seven nomination seekers. They said the party high command should evaluate contribution and dedication of party men in giving nomination. They sharply reacted to the reported statement of Rabbani that he joined BNP after assurance of alliance nomination.

Two of the BNP leaders seeking anonymity claimed that all the seven would join LDP if Golam Rabbani gets nomination from Netrakona-1 constituency.

They said they have urged BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia to nominate a 'dedicated' party leader from among them.

Earlier, Netrakona BNP president MA Karim Abbasi joined LDP, that triggered mudslinging among BNP leaders in the district.

Talking to this correspondent, Durgapur upazila BNP president Hamidur Rahaman Rashad claimed that failing to get support of BNP leaders in the constituency, Rabbani joined BNP as a member of its district unit. The district leaders took Rabbani in the party without consulting leaders in the constituency. This proves his ill motive, Rashed alleged.

The seven nomination seekers are now united under the leadership of Kayser Kamal to oppose Rabbani, party sources said.

Abul Khair, former convenor of Kalmakanda upazila BNP, said Golam Rabbani was elected in a farcical election in 1988, which was boycotted by both BNP and Awami League.

The 4-party alliance will lose the seat if he is nominated, he claimed.

Wazed Ali Chashi, former president of Kalmakanda upazila BNP, alleged that Golam Rabbani is an ill-tempered and corrupt man. People will not vote him, he claimed.

When contact, Golam Rabbani refuted the allegation of corruption against him and said, "I joined BNP with blessings of party chairperson Khaleda Zia and secretary general Abdul Mannan Buiyan. They assured me of nomination".

But Kayser Kamal said, "We hope BNP high command will not nominate Rabbani because he is a corrupt unpopular person".

BNP leaders and activists brought out a procession in Kalmakanda upazila headquarters yesterday protesting Golam Rabbani's joining the party. PHOTO: STAR