Some Jatiya Party nomination aspirants have accused its Chairman HM Ershad and Secretary General ABM Ruhul Amin Howlader of taking big money in return for handing nomination for the election. Some of the leaders also alleged they did not get selected even after paying the party’s top brass. Howlader has refuted the allegations, saying the accusers themselves “had taken money from someone else to mar the party’s image”.
The party had sent letters confirming initial nominations to 111 possible candidates, he told a news conference in Dhaka on Wednesday.
Later, Md Sawkat Chowdhury, a Jatiya Party MP from Nilphamari-4, came to the party office and alleged that Ershad and Howlader had taken Tk 6 million from him but were dillydallying in awarding him the nomination for the run for re-election.
According to the list of candidates provided by Howlader, Sawkat has jointly been nominated with Adelur Adel.
“I will take action. Tell them to return my money,” an angry Sawkat told the party leaders at the office.
He later told reporters that Ershad “destroyed the party by changing stance time and again”.
“He had once said the party would go it alone in the election. Now he is saying it will be under the Grand Alliance (led by ruling Awami League). Can a party be run in such a way?” Sawkat asked.
For Gazipur-5, the Jatiya Party has nominated Kaliganj Upazila Council Chairperson Rahela Parvin Shishir, wife of the partys Presidium Member Azam Khan.
Gazipur Metropolitan Jatiya Party Vice-President Gazi Obaidul Kabir Maznu, who had also been seeking nomination for the seat, has alleged that money changed hands for nomination.
The party is seeking Tk 10 million for nomination from every candidate, according to Maznu.
He also blamed Ershad for “ruining the party” and announced support for the Awami League candidate Meher Afroz Chumki.
Dinajpur-5 nomination aspirant Md Solaiman Sami, Chattogram Metropolitan Jatiya Party Vice-President Mohammad Ali, and Sheikh Shariful Islam from Sirajganj-3, Kazi Mamunur Rashid from Brahmanbarhia-5, and Abul Kashem Ripon from Joypurhat-2 brought similar allegations against the party.
Rashid and Ripons names, however, appeared on the list later.
“This is utterly false and flimsy. This aims to belittle me and my party. This is unacceptable,” Howlader said.
“Someone is behind this. They (aspirants) may have done it for money,” he added.
Ershad could not be reached for comment as he has been admitted to the Combined Military Hospital in Dhaka for treatment and is awaiting transfer to a Singapore hospital.
His Press and Political Secretary Sunil Shuvo Roy did not take bdnews24.com phone calls for comment.
The Jatiya Party, which became the main opposition in parliament after the BNP boycotted the last election, is going to the polls under the umbrella of the Grand Alliance this time, as the BNP has returned to election.
The Awami League earlier said it would leave 65 to 70 seats for its allies Jatiya Party, those in the 14-Party coalition and recently included Bikalpadhara Bangladesh of AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury.