The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has completed distributing "attested" nomination papers to its candidates for upcoming municipal polls across the country, though has not revealed it yet for strategic reasons.
BNP will contest local government polls in 235 pourasavas (municipalities) countrywide due to be held on December 30. The nominations attested (certified) by the party's chief selector will have to be submitted to the Election Commission, according to EC rules. Meanwhile, BNP leaders said they were trying to find out and "neutralise" rebel party aspirants for the race to remove internal challenges to the valid nominees.
"We are trying to minimise this problem (party rebels)," on BNP senior leader said on Wednesday.
"So far as we know, 15 to 20 districts including Dhaka, Bogra, Rajshahi, Chittagong and Barisal may have rebel candidates (who were not selected by the party) contesting as independent candidates violating the directive of the BNP central command," he told the Daily Observer.
Other BNP insiders have also confirmed this.
Meanwhile, as the BNP decided to take part in the crucial local government polls being held on party-basis for the first time in Bangladesh, many grassroots leaders and activists who had been out of scene for fear of arrest and harassment by police have started to come out again.
Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal, President of Jatiyatabadi Juba Dal, told the Daily Observer, "We have found some names of rebel candidates in some places. Our party is already making moves to resolve the problems by holding meeting with those aspirants."
"Hopefully, we will able to resolve the problem by the deadline of nomination paper withdrawal on December 13," he added.
Many supporters of the rebel candidates were seen chanting slogans in front of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's Gulshan office in the capital on Wednesday.
There had been scuffles between rival BNP supporters from Manohardi Pourasava of Narsingdi in front of the Gulshan office, witnesses said. The situation calmed down after intervention by a senior party leader, they said.
A faction of Rajbari Pourasava Chhatra Dal alleged that a reformist leader was nominated for contesting the polls there depriving proven and genuine leaders.
Besides, many BNP leaders and workers of Shibchar in Madaripur are unhappy over nomination of a leader named Jahangir Kamal who is accused of attacking Khaleda Zia's motorcade in 2001.
Helen Jerin Khan, former lawmaker of BNP, told this correspondent "though I have full confidence on the selector (Mohammd Shahjahan) still I think extra care should be taken in nominating candidates who can withstand hardest challenge from the opponents (from ruling Awami league)."
Dr Osman Faruque, Vice-Chairman of BNP, told the Daily Observer, "We emphasised to nominate those who had participated in the organisational activities."
"What was their role in the previous movement called by the party was considered in selecting the candidates," he added.
"It was a difficult task to select genuine leaders for contesting the local government polls within a short time. But we have completed the task."