BNP acting Chairperson Tarique Rahman has continued to attend the party's parliamentary board’s interviews of the aspirants for the upcoming 11th parliamentary elections on the second day despite objections and criticism from the ruling Awami League about his connection to the party despite multiple convictions.
Aspirants for the BNP ticket in the Barishal Division began sitting for interviews at the BNP Chairperson’s Offices in Gulshan on Monday morning. Nomination hopefuls for the Khulna Division will begin their interviews from 2:30pm.
The BNP will interview nearly 500 aspirants for 21 parliamentary seats in Barishal Division and 36 seats in Khulna Division.
BNP Standing Committee chair Mirza Abbas and members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Moudud Ahmed, Jamiruddin Sircar, Mahbubur Rahman, Rafiqul Islam Mia, Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, Abdul Moeen Khan, Nazrul Islam Khan, Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury, and BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir are also on the parliamentary board.
The presidents and general secretaries of the district and metropolitan BNP committees and organising secretaries and assistant organising secretaries from the relevant divisions are also attending the interviews, reports bdnews24.
Members of the BNP parliamentary board sat with nomination seekers for the Rangpur and Rajshahi Divisions on Sunday. Tarique Rahman, the son of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, joined the deliberations on Sunday, giving rise to criticism.
Khaleda Zia has been in prison since February since her sentencing in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case. She was later also sentenced to prison in the Zia Charitable Trust graft case. Tarique Rahman was appointed acting chairman to the party after his mother was imprisoned. Rahman has lived in London for a decade after being sentenced to 17 years in prison over two corruption cases and receiving a life-term in prison over the August 21 grenade attack case. In the eyes of the law he is considered a fugitive.
Interviewees said on Sunday that Tarique Rahman had three main questions for them – why they should be the BNP candidate for this election, what history they have with the party, and to what extent do they expect to win the election if they receive the BNP candidacy.
Tarique’s participation was criticised by Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader once it was reported by the media. The Awami League sent a delegation to submit a written complaint to the Election Commission on the matter.
Meanwhile the BNP says it is up to the party to determine who will be on their nomination board and no outsiders have the ability to question it.
The government’s chief legal official, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam, said that communicating with a fugitive like Tarique Rahman may be considered an offence under the law.
Election Commissioner Rafikul Islam said that the election organisers will check whether there are any laws regarding the situation.
According to the schedule announced by the BNP, it will interview nominees for the Chattogram and Cumilla divisions on Tuesday and Mymensingh, Faridpur and Dhaka on Wednesday.