BNP candidates beset with lawsuits
According to the declarations, 34 out of 45 candidates of BNP are struggling with several cases. Of them, a total of 10 mayoral candidates are facing more than five cases concurrently. And three others are struggling with more than 10 cases.
A total of 36 lawsuits have been pending against Saidur Rahman, BNP-select mayoral candidate under Sirajganj pourashava. Most of these cases were lodged in three consecutive years of 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Saidur Rahman claimed, “All the cases brought against me are political. These lawsuits were lodged to keep me away from politics. Now I am on bail in all the cases.”
Another BNP mayoral candidate of Ullapara pourashava under Sirajganj district Md Azad Hossain has been struggling with 18 lawsuits. He was acquitted from eight more cases lodged against him.
Azad said during political movements in 2013 to 2018, the cases were filed to harass him politically. BNP mayoral candidate Refat Ullah under Savar pourashava of Dhaka district is also facing 17 cases which were filed under the explosives and anti-terrorism act.
Terming all of these cases as political, he told Prothom Alo that the cases had been filed against me after detention at the police station.
Only 7 AL candidates facing lawsuits
On the contrary, only seven AL candidates are facing lawsuits. Besides, eight candidates have been released from the cases filed against them. AL mayoral candidate Abdul Quader Mirza in Basurhat pourashava under Noakhali district has just been acquitted from 12 cases mentioned. He is the younger brother of AL general secretary Obaidul Quader.
Abdul Quader claimed BNP had filed these cases against him in 2001 to harass him politically.
He told Prothom Alo that he does not own huge properties, he just has a dwindling pharmaceutical business. Seeking a fair election, Mirza said that he and his wife’s wealth will not affect the election anyway.
* This report appeared in the print and online edition of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten for the English edition by NH Sajjad