Bangladesh

AL leader in Shariatpur suspended for contesting municipality polls as independent mayor candidate

Awami League today suspended a leader of its Bhedarganj upazila unit in Shariatpur for contesting in the polls of Bhedarganj municipality as an independent mayoral candidate.

"Abul Bashar Chokder was suspended from his post of treasurer of Awami League's Bhedarganj upazila unit for breaching the party regulations," Anol Kumar Dey, general secretary of Shariatpur district Awami League, told The Daily Star.

"Violating the party's rules, Abul Bashar is now contesting in the polls of Bhedarganj municipality as an independent mayoral candidate with the symbol of jug," he said.

"We sent a letter to the general secretary of the party unit, seeking Bashar's formal expulsion," the district AL leader also said.

"We will reconsider the suspension order if Bashar supports AL-backed mayoral candidate and works for the 'boat' symbol in municipality election from now on," he added.

Contacted, Abul Bashar Chokder said, "I will contest in the election though I am experiencing a lot of obstacles in campaign."

"If I do not get any scope in the party, I will continue my political activities as an Awami League supporter," Bashar added.

According to the local leaders and activists, seven top leaders of Bhedarganj upazila Awami League including its general secretary Abdul Mannan Bepari and treasurer Abul Bashar Chokder sought the party ticket for the municipality polls, but the party gave its ticket to incumbent municipality mayor and Bhedarganj upazila Awami League's joint general secretary Abdul Mannan Howladar.

Then, Abul Bashar decided to contest in the polls as an independent candidate and the other five leaders supported him.

Now a group of local leaders and activists, mostly followers of Abdul Mannan Bepari, are secretly campaigning for the independent mayor candidate in the election, the party insiders said.

Bhedarganj municipality polls is scheduled to be held on January 30 where Awami League mayor candidate Abdul Mannan Howladar, BNP mayor candidate BM Mostafiz and independent mayor candidate Abul Bashar Chokder will contest.

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