BNP leaders from Habiganj’s Nabiganj have expressed their embarrassment over the decision of Reza Kibria, the son of former Awami League Finance Minister Shah AMS Kibria, will run on the Jatiya Oikya Front ticket.
Former Governor Mohammed Farashuddin has expressed his intention to run as an Awami League candidate for the Habiganj-4 seat left vacant by departing Finance Minister AMA Muhith, while Reza Kibria plans to run for the Habiganj-1 seat.
He submitted his nomination forms for Kamal Hossain-led Gono Forum on Friday. The parties of the opposition alliance have expressed their desire to run under the paddy sheaf symbol of the BNP, the largest party in the alliance.
Reza’s father, Shah AMS Kibria, served as the finance minister under Sheikh Hasina from 1996 to 2001. He was re-elected to the Habiganj-1 seat (Nabiganj-Bahubal) in 2001 and was killed in a grenade attack in Habiganj in 2005.
Asked about his decision to run against the party of his father, Reza told bdnews24.com on Saturday:
“My father was involved in Awami League politics, but I have no connections to them. It has been 14 years since my father’s murder and the Awami League has failed to bring his killers to justice.”
Like his father, Reza has worked at the UN. Though he was born in Jalalshap village in Nabiganj Upazila’s Debpara Union, Reza spent most of his youth abroad.
If he is picked to be the Jatiya Oikya Front nominee, Reza says he will run under the paddy sheaf symbol.
Nabiganj Municipal BNP President and Municipal Mayor Sabir Ahmed Chowdhury told bdnews24.com:
“It is very embarrassing for us that Reza Kibria plans to run under the paddy sheaf symbol when BNP activists and leaders are accused as the perpetrators of his father’s murder.”
Sylhet City Mayor Ariful Haque Chowhdury and Habiganj Municipal Mayor (Dismissed) GK Gaus are among the BNP leaders accused in the Kibria murder case. Ariful had to spend time in jail over the case, while Gaus was dismissed because of it.
Khaleda Zia’s Political Secretary Haris Chowdhury and former Khaleda Zia State Minister for Home Affairs Lutfozzaman Babar are also suspects in the case. After three rounds of investigations, police filed charges against 11 suspects on Dec 21, 2014. Two cases, one for murder and the other under the Explosives Act, are still in the trial phase.
The BNP’s Sheikh Sujat Miah, who has held the Habiganj-1 seat before, also plans to contest the election.
Sabir Ahmed Chowdhury says he has not heard anything from BNP central leaders about Kibria standing as the candidate for the constituency.
“Sheikh Sujat is an acceptable candidate for our party. We want him to be our candidate.”
“We have not received any signals from the high command regarding a decision. We are waiting.”
“If the central leaders decide that Dr Reza Kibria will stand as the Oikya Front candidate, we will accept it,” said Bahubal Upazila BNP President Akaddas Mia Babul told bdnews24.com. “We will work for whoever receives the paddy sheaf symbol.”