Rezaul Haque, Sylhet
Sylhet-6, comprising Beanibazar and Golapganj upazila, has turned out be an important constituency for both Awami League (AL) and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) due to Nurul Islam Nahid (from AL) for his serving as the education minister for the last two consecutive terms since 2009.
Both party leaders and voters expect that one whoever will win in the next parliamentary election might have the opportunity to become a minister.
Party insiders of AL and BNP believe that a high-profile candidate might have them win the seat and therefore are looking for one who has an illustrious political background as well as popularity among the voters. Local electorates echoed the same view that the candidate having a high background and a good connection with the party centre has a huge opportunity. They said they want to see one, as a member of parliament, who will also serve them properly.
Local AL leaders said incumbent Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid MP might get the nomination again from the party because he is a three-time MP from the constituency. Apart from Nurul Islam Nahid, former Canada AL president Sarwar Hussain is also seeking nomination from the seat. In this regard, he has been continuously visiting the locality and keeping in touch with the local and central AL leaders, party insiders said.
On the other hand, former caretaker government adviser and diplomat CM Shafi Sami might also be a hard contender for nomination from AL. He has a clean image, believe party insiders, because Shafi Sami is not involved in factional politics in the area.However, political analysts opined that to avert any AL conflict in Sylhet-6 Sheikh Hasina might pick up a candidate who has experience as a minister and also popularity as well.
Local AL hopes that they would be able to retain the seat as Sylhet-6 traditionally belongs to AL as the party have won the constituency for 5 times after independence. On the other hand, local leaders said BNP might bank on former MP Dr Syed Mokbul Hussain Lechu Miah, as a strong candidate, to win the seat.
Alternatively, the party might also pick up former privatization commission chairman Inam Ahmed Chowdhury. Otherwise, the BNP allies might choose Habibur Rahman from Jamaat-e-Islami. BNP leaders said they will work for the one whoever is nominated from the centre.