Noakhali-4 MP Mohammad Ekramul Karim Chowdhury has announced to seek party nomination for the seat of Awami League General Secretary and Minister for Road Transport and Bridges Obaidul Quader in the forthcoming 12th National Assembly elections.
He made the announcement at an Iftar function held at his home in Kabirhat Upazila on Friday afternoon. This iftar and prayer program was organized for the leaders and workers of Kabirhat Upazila Awami League and allied organizations.
Companiganj and Kabirhat upazilas with Noakhali-5 seats. Obaidul Quader is the MP of that constituency. His village home is in Companiganj upazila. MP Mohammad Ekramul Karim Chowdhury’s village home is in Sundalpur of Kabirhat upazila.
Earlier, in the 2001 parliamentary elections, MP Ekramul Karim Chowdhury was an independent candidate and Obaidul Quader lost the seat to then BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed. And Ekramul Karim Chowdhury got more than 40 thousand votes.
Ekramul Karim Chowdhury’s announcement added a new dimension to the instability in the politics of the district Awami League which has been going on for more than a year. On condition of anonymity, several leaders of the district Awami League consider the announcement of MP Ekramul Karim as a ploy to put psychological pressure on Obaidul Quader. Besides, they are also looking at this as a precautionary measure to ensure their own nomination in the forthcoming Sadar constituency (Noakhali-4).
Speaking on the occasion of Iftar, Ekramul Karim Chowdhury said, ‘After many years, I can smell the sweat of the people of Kabirhat in the air. I do not know what the decision of Bangladesh Awami League will be. But if you want, I will ask for nomination from Noakhali-4 and Noakhali-5 seats. People’s leader Sheikh Hasina will decide.
This MP further said, ‘Kabirhat is our area. We will not bow down to anyone. Chhatra League and Juba League have to come up. This upazila has to lead. Today there is misery in Noakhali Awami League. They could not feed anyone even a packet of Iftar. I have a lot of trouble inside. I have set up this organization since 2001 with bloodshed.
Addressing Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader, Ekramul Karim Chowdhury said, ‘Quader’s brother, I gave you a place after my father. But you couldn’t hold on. In the words of your own brother, you removed me from the post of General Secretary of Awami League. Not only did he exclude me, but the whole Noakhali Awami League family was devastated. Today he has made everyone a convener.
When the joint convener of the district Awami League Shihab Uddin Shahin was drawn to the announcement of MP Ekramul Karim, he said in the first light, ‘He is still the MP of Awami League. He has to be in party discipline. His declaration proved that he does not accept the party decision of Awami League. Obaidul Quader is the general secretary of Awami League and our address is Noakhali. The announcement of such an election in his constituency is against the party discipline. The high command of the party will take a decision in this regard.
Earlier on March 10, MP Ekramul Karim Chowdhury called Obaidul Quader the most hated person in Noakhali in a Facebook Live speech from Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore. He won the last three elections from Noakhali-4 constituency by getting party nomination. Ekramul Karim was the general secretary of the district Awami League for 17 consecutive years. He was also elected general secretary at the 2019 conference. But before the approval of the committee, he was removed from the post of general secretary on September 30 last year. After that, a 7-member convening committee was formed and MP Ekramul Karim was included as a member.