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Habibulla Masum
BNP acting chairman Tarique Zia has allegedly earned more than Tk 700 crore from nomination trading this year, BNP sources disclosed.
Major parts of this illegal money were laundered to different fake accounts of Tarique Zia.
Nomination deprived BNP leaders alleged that they have also sent huge amount of money to different accounts in London, Singapore, Dubai and Malaysia to ensure their nomination. The owners of the anonymous accounts is actually Tarique Zia or his close associates.
Anti-corruption Commission vowed to take legal steps if they get any written complaints over nomination trading.
Some BNP leaders claimed that they sent money either directly to Tarique Zia or to his representatives through different illegal ways.
A BNP leader on condition of anonymity said, “He directly talked to Tarique Zia before sending money for his nomination. I have sent money as per instruction of the BNP acting chairman.”
Some of us have sent money more than one time. At least two BNP leaders living in Bangladesh, who are very close to Tarique Zia, have also received money on behalf of Tarique Zia.
Replying to the question of the amount of the money for a party ticket, BNP leaders said actually it varies. Some of them got nomination paying only Tk 2 crore. But many of them had to pay more than Tk 10 crore for a single constituency. Mosharaf Hossain, a BNP leader who lives in Malaysia had paid Tk 20 crore to get nomination kicking out former education minister ANKM Ehsanul Haque Milon, who was a very popular candidate in the Chandpur constituency.
Mosharaf sent the full amount to a bank account in Singapore. A candidate from a Manikganj constituency had paid Tk 5 crore. He was given primary nomination. However, he was dropped later as his rival BNP leader MA Jinna paid Tk 10 crore to Tarique Rahman. Now he is trying to communicate with Tarique Zia to get back his money. But he failed repeatedly in his attempt.
Many BNP leaders alleged that their money may not be returned finally. Tarique Zia took money from two candidates in a Narayanganj constituency. But he is yet to return money to one of the candidates, who was not given nomination despite assurance. A candidate from a constituency of Dhaka City complained to BNP secretary general Mirza Fakrul Islam Alamgir. He alleged that he paid Tk 3 crore through ‘hundi’ (Illegal money transfer) to Tarique Zia. Fakrual Islam advised him not to make dispute over the issue for the greater interest of the party. He however assured him of looking into the matter after the election.
Family members of Kahleda Zia also took huge amount of money from a BNP leader of Sylhet division. But he was also finally deprived. Now he is trying to get back his money. But he is yet to establish contact with the influential family members of Khaleda Zia.
Another member of Khaleda Zia’s family took huge amount of money from a candidate of Chuadanga and Jhinaidha. But they were not given nomination.
Earlier on December 4, Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader said that BNP leaders had created a record of making money out of ‘nomination trade’ in the run up to the 11th national elections scheduled for December 30.
In the name of giving party nominations BNP leaders earned a lot, he alleged.
‘We have also heard that some top leaders of BNP who were involved in the nomination trade had left Dhaka to escape the wrath of the nomination seekers who paid a lot of money for nomination,’ Quader said.