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Jailed BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia and four other party leaders have been given primary nomination to contest the bypolls for the Bogura-6 parliamentary constituency on June 24. The seat fell vacant after BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir refrained from taking oath as MP within the stipulated time. - A home for your website

The BNP’s Bogura district unit convener GM Siraj yesterday collected the nomination paper on behalf of Khaleda from her Gulshan office at 3pm, the party chief’s media wing officer, Shairul Kabir Khan, said.

The four other leaders who were given nominations for the constituency are BNP district convener GM Siraj, Bogura mayor advocate AKM Mahbubur Rahman, former party district president Rezaul Karim Badsha and former general secretary Joynal Abedin Chan. Siraj told reporters that he would the submit Khaleda’s nomination paper on her behalf to the returning officer at 12 noon today. He would also file his nomination.

BNP sources said more than one nomination was given so that the party could select its final candidate after scrutiny on May 27. The other candidates would then withdraw their candidatures by the last date on June 3.

Khaleda has been serving a 17-year jail term since last year after her conviction in two graft cases.

She was also given party nominations for Feni-1 and Bogura-6 constituencies for the December 30 parliamentary election, but she could not contest the polls as her candidacy was rejected because of her conviction.

Despite having the prospect of cancellation of her candidacy on the same ground, Khaleda’s fresh nomination has created curiosity among BNP leaders and workers as to whether she would be able to contest the polls.

According to the law, if a person is convicted and sentenced to more than two years in prison for moral turpitude, he or she would not be eligible to participate in elections for five years after serving the jail term. If Khaleda’s nomination is rejected again, Siraj is likely to be the party candidate for the by-election to the BNP-dominated Bogura-6 constituency.

Meanwhile, two BNP factions had a face off yesterday and tried to grab the party office. The intra-party feud was triggered after the recent formation of BNP’s district convening committee led by Siraj. The deprived leaders have been demanding the cancellation of the new committee.

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