Several hundred leaders, workers and supporters of failed Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) nomination aspirants continued violence and demonstration for the second consecutive day on Sunday in front of the party chairperson’s Gulshan office.
During the protest, they smashed the window spans of the BNP chairperson’s office by pelting stones. Some were seen shoving and kicking the gates they blocked on the morning.
Supporters of Munshiganj-1 BNP nominee Md Abdullah and Cumilla-4 aspirant Manjurul Ahsan Munshi blocked the front gate to the office.
Demanding party tickets for their favourite leaders, they chanted slogans, “We don’t accept illegal nomination, won’t do.” During demonstration, they wore white cloth bands on their heads.
Meanwhile, some leaders inside the office started announcing through loudspeakers to pacify the aggrieved leaders and workers. BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir was not in the office as he along with some other BNP leaders had left the office late on Saturday night and had not returned on Sunday morning, a security guard employed at the building confirmed.
The agitated supporters were asked to go away from the party chairperson’s Gulshan office, saying no nomination was being given from there. This made them furious and instead of responding to the call they resorted to vandalism.
BNP gave nomination to its Vice-Chairman Shah Moazzem Hossain for contesting from Munshiganj-1 constituency while Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal General Secretary Abdul Malek Ratan was chosen to fight for Cumilla-4 on behalf of the Jatiya Oikyafront.
Shafiqul Islam, a supporter of Abdullah, said they would not accept Moazzem. “He is an elderly person and has no connection with local leaders and activists. We want the party to change its decision,” he said.
Kamal Uddin, a supporter of Munshi, said their leader was a four-time MP from Cumilla-4. “We cannot win with a candidate like Ratan, who hardly visits the area. We have come here to tell the party that we will not accept this illegal nomination,” he said. Around 11am, an office staff announced that there was no point in gathering in front of the place since the office is closed.
On Saturday, supporters of BNP International Affairs Secretary ANM Ehsanul Haque Milon (Chandpur-1), Taimur Alam Khandaker (Narayanganj-1) and Selimuzzamn Selim (Gopalganj-1) gathered in front of the office and demonstrated until midnight.
They shouted slogans against BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir for, what they said, depriving their leaders of nominations. They demanded the party nominates Ehsanul, Taimur and Selim.
At one stage, the demonstrators tried to break the office gates and hurled stones and brick chips at the office, damaging the windows.
The protesters also vandalized Fakhrul’s vehicle in front of the office.
They also tried to obstruct him when he was coming out of the office at midnight, but the senior leaders appeased them.
Milon’s agitated supporters had earlier kept BNP’s headquarters locked for nearly an hour after the party picked someone else over him for Chandpur-1 constituency. They gave the party 12hours to change its decision.
On Friday night, BNP late secretary general Khandaker Dewar Hossain’s son Abdul Hamid Dablu along with his supporters demonstrated in front of party chief Khaleda Zia’s Gulshan office as SA Jinnah Kabir was given party nomination from Manikganj-1.
The supporters of Narayanganj BNP leader Giasuddin also demonstrated there as their leader did not get the party ticket.