Thinking about the Gazipur by-election
Now that Sohel Taj has definitely resigned from parliament, his seat is up for a re-election. It has been held by the Tajuddin Ahmed’s son for three elections in a row.
Between Tajuddin and his son, Mrs Zohra Tajuddin contested the seat in 1979, 1986 and 1991. There is no one left in the family to run. AL seems to have no readymade candidate.
Surely BNP would like to win it back. It had a strong candidate in Brig Hannan Shah.
So what’s the thinking behind the reason to not contest?
Gazipur isn’t Bhola. It’s as urban as Narayanganj. If AL tried to snatch it Bhola-style (or Falu-style against Major Mannan long time ago in another seat not that far away), it would have been a major media coup for BNP.
And if AL decided to not rig then surely Hannan Shah would have won.
So what’s going on here?
Or is there method in it?
Could it be that given the cachet Tajuddin Ahmed’s family still enjoys with civil society, it’s much better to let someone like Mahmudur Rahman Manna run as a Nagorik candidate and beat AL?
Perhaps. In 2006, AL abstained from a by-election in North Bengal and allowed a Hindu candidate from JP beat Jamaat handily. Perhaps BNP’s trying a similar trick now.
The thing is, 2012 isn’t 2006. If Mahmudur Rahman Manna and Selina Hayat Ivy can beat AL with civil society backing, then why would the same civil society ever take BNP seriously?