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The BNP is yet to decide whether it would contest the by-election to the Bogura-6 constituency that fell vacant after its lawmaker-elect Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir decided to refrain from taking oath as a Member of Parliament. Party leaders are divided over taking part in the by-election, scheduled for June 24, as many of them see no logic behind contesting the polls for a seat that the party left willingly. - A home for your website

Some of them, however, said the party should regain the constituency eventually after deciding to join Parliament.

It will really funny to take part in the by-election to grab a seat that the party secretary general left only some days ago, said a senior party leader.

He argued that the party secretary general recently acknowledged that the party’s earlier decision of not joining Parliament was a mistake, but all lawmakers-elect of the party, except Fakhrul, joined the House.

The whole fiasco has confused the party rank and file, he said. "If the decision to refrain from taking oath as lawmaker was taken on strategic grounds, how the party is going to seek votes for its candidate again?" he wondered.

BNP standing committee member Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said the matter is yet to be discussed at the party forum. “It’s yet to be discussed,” he added.

Another standing committee member, Goyeshwar Chandra Roy, said that the party is yet to take any decision on taking part in the by-election. A decision in this regard will be taken soon, he added. A Bogura BNP leader, preferring anonymity, said they did not receive any directive over the by-election to the Bogura-6 constituency.

He, however, said that they are always ready to contest the election if the party gives a positive decision in this regard. The name of the candidate would not really matter in the by-election, he added.

May 23 is the last day to submit nomination papers for contesting the by-election. Sources in the Election Commission (EC) say electronic voting machines (EVMs) are expected to be used in each centre during the by-polls.

The constituency was announced vacant after BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, who won from the seat in the December 30 election, did not take oath as a Member of Parliament within 90 days from the date of the first meeting of Parliament. The 11th parliament, formed through the December 30 general election, went into its

maiden session on January 30, 2019. As per the constitution, April 29 was the last date for taking oath. The BNP won six out of the 300 parliamentary seats in the last election. Ganoforum, a partner in the BNP-led Jatiya Oikyafront, bagged two. The BNP and its allies had rejected the election over the alleged vote rigging, but it backtracked from the decision at the last minute after one party lawmaker-elect, Zahidur Rahman Zahid, took oath by violating the party decision and four other expressed their desire to join the House.

Ending weeks of speculations, four BNP lawmakers-elect took oath in line with the directive of party acting chairman Tarique Rahman on April 29, the last date for taking oath, although Fakhrul did not do so.

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