Dhaka, April 6: Who will get the symbol ‘torch’? Against this backdrop, leaders of the two factions of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JASAD) went to the Election Commission (EC) on Wednesday claiming party symbol.
However, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad said the Commission would take decision on this matter after reviewing papers submitted by the factions.
“We have a preliminary conversation with them. They have given papers in this regard. If necessary we will seek more papers from them. We will review the papers. Then we will take decision,” CEC told reporters.
The EC summoned two factions of JASAD amid the claim who would get the party symbol ‘torch’ to be the original party.
Responding to the call of the Commission, president of faction leader and also the information minister Hasanul Huq Inu and its general secretary Shirin Akhter appeared before the EC’s hearing.
On the other hand, another faction president Sharif Nurul Ambia and its general secretary Nazmul Haque Pradhan attended the hearing.
Talking to the journalists, Inu said, “EC summoned us for a hearing. Earlier on Tuesday we submitted necessary papers relating to the council. EC asked some questions on the papers and we have answered it. We have full confidence and trust on EC. They will consider it properly and give us a decision.”
Later, another faction’s executive president Moinuddin Khan Badal, MP said that none can take the ‘torch’ symbol from the persons who have been elected members of parliament (MP) under it.
“Torch is my symbol. I’m talking of the parliamentary practice. Nazmul Haque Pradhan has been elected MP under ‘torch’ symbol. If you withdraw ‘torch’ what will be his (Pradha) status,” he added.
“I don’t have any problem about my status. I’ve been elected by ‘boat’ symbol. Even Inu and Shirin are MPs with ‘boat’ symbol in the parliament. But what will happen with them who have been elected by ‘torch’ symbols. You cannot take the torch symbol from them,” he asserted.
He further said, “We don’t need to say loudly that we are the mainstream JASAD.”
“We hope we will get the ‘torch’ symbol. JASAD has six MPs. Of them, two –Nazmul Haque Pradhan and Rezaul Karim Tansen – have been elected directly with ‘torch’ symbol. These are big factors,” he said.
Replying to a query of nominating candidates in the ongoing union parishad elections, he said, “We have nominated candidates who sought nomination from us. We will inform you how many of them are elected after election.”
JASAD nominated chairman candidates, authorised by Shirin Akhter as well as Nazmul Haque Pradhan, for the third phase UP polls slated on April 23.
EC sources said the party had nominated 28 candidates for chairman posts at 621 Union Parishads.
Ambia authorised candidates for the first two phases of the UP polls. Four of its candidates have won election as chairmen.
But Shirin Akhter said she has been given the power by Inu to authorise JASAD candidates for the elections.
EC sources said that the chairman candidates of JASAD for the third phase of polls will be determined after the decision of the hearing.
“We’ll see the matter of symbol later if any problems arise,” EC Secretary Sirajul Islam said.
The election symbols of the third phase would be distributed on April 7 and the last date of withdrawal of candidates was Wednesday.
Replying to another query, Moinuddin Khan Badal said, “Whether we would go to court for the symbol, you need to wait for some time.”
But he said, “The standing committee is the highest body of JASAD. It has 15 members. Of them, one is dead, one is seriously ill and another is almost out of politics. Of the rest of the twelve members, seven have supported us. Even we have 79 political districts. Of them, 40 have supported us.”
On March 12, JASAD was split at its national council when a faction rebelled against Inu’s bid to install Shirin Akhter as the party’s general secretary.
The rebel faction named Sharif Nurul Ambia and Nazmul Haque Prodhan MP as its president and general secretary respectively. It also named Moinuddin Khan Badal as its executive president.
Both factions now claim themselves as the ‘main’ party but the decision is now hanging at EC’s decision.