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Space For Rent
Saturday, September 12, 2015, Bhadra 28, 1422 BS, Zilqad 27, 1436 Hijr

'Leadership vacuum eroding BNP's edge in Old Dhaka'
Al Amin
Published :Saturday, 12 September, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 106
Grassroots level leaders and activists of the Dhaka-7 constituency of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) are in 'confusion' as to who will become their next 'guardian' as several aspirants are desperate to capture the position after the death of former lawmaker Nasir Uddin Ahmed Pintu.
Sources said that at least four strong groups (Members of Pintu's family, Mir Newaz Ali, Ishaq Sarkar and Mosharraf Hossain Khokon) are lobbying with the BNP high command to get the blessing for the constituency comprising Lalbagh, Chawk Bazar, Bangsal and parts of Kotwali police stations.
Many leaders and activists of the area told this correspondent that the BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia should nominate one of the competent senior leaders as the next 'guardian' who will be capable of playing an active role in future anti-government movement as well as contest the next parliamentary election.  
They said if the Chairperson fails to select a capable leader for the area, soon the party may lose its supremacy in this constituency. Even, deadly clashes might take place between contending groups at any time, they apprehended. 
A leader of Lalbagh Thana Unit of the BNP seeking anonymity told the Daily Observer that every constituency has a particular guardian from each political party but after the death of Pintu, BNP is now divided into four factions."
"A single competent guardian is needed here, not anything else, to regain supremacy in the area" he said. 
Sayeed Hasan Mintu, Convener of Chawk Bazar Thana unit of Jatiyatabadi Juba Dal said, "We, after the death of Pintu, are yet to think about our next leadership." 
Mintu, also Senior Joint General Secretary of Dhaka city (South) Unit of Juba Dal, cited the active role of Pintu's family members beside the leaders and activists of the BNP and its associate bodies when he (Pintu) was in jail.
"Anyone from Pintu's family can become the next guardian," he viewed.
Replying to a question whether Juba Dal central committee Joint General Secretary Mir Newaz Ali or JCD central committee Organising Secretary Ishaq Sarkar will be the next leader, he said both of them were dedicated leaders.
"But it will be better if the guardian is selected from among Pintu's family members," he said.
Tasaddek Hossain Bablu, President of Lalbagh Thana Unit of Juba Dal, laid emphasis on Pintu's family.
Former reserved seat Councillor from the greater Lalbagh Thana area and incumbent President of the thana unit of Mahila Dal Shamsunnahar agreed with Bablu.
Former No 66 Councillor and Joint Convener of Chawk Bazar Unit of BNP Humayun Kabir said that he will cling to the leader selected by the party high-command.
Mosharraf Hossain Khokon, former No 60 Ward Councillor, is also lobbying to get leadership of the area, some people closed to him said.
Khokon could not be contacted for comments despite repeated attempts over his cell phone.
Md Nasim Ahmed Rintu, younger brother of Pintu, said that the next leadership must be from their family as his elder brother sacrificed almost his whole life for the cause of BNP.
When asked whether he or his sister-in-law (Pintu's wife) Nasima Akhter Kalpana will become the leader of the area, he said, "I will first try for my sister-in-law. In case of her refusal, I am eager to stay at the helm." 
Wishing not be named a senior leader of greater Lalbagh Thana Unit of BNP said that Mir Newaz Ali was also trying to lead the constituency.
Some leaders and activists of Bangsal and Kotwali Thana Unit of JCD hoped that their leader, Ishaq Sarkar, will lead the Dhaka-7 constituency to fulfill the dreams of Nasir Uddin Ahmed Pintu.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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