Awami League candidates in four of the six constituencies of Sylhet district are likely to face tough contests from their opponents in the upcoming national polls slated for January 7.
The constituencies are Sylhet 2, 3, 5 and 6.
On the contrary, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and Expatriates’ Welfare Minister Imran Ahmed, who are contesting from Sylhet 1 and 4 constituencies with AL ticket respectively, are likely to have an easy run as they have no strong contenders vying against them.
Momen is contesting against four other candidates while Imran has two contenders, but none of them stand much chance as they are not well-known politicians.
AL eyes to regain the seat after 10 years as it previously sacrificed the seat to its ally Jatiyo Party in the last two national polls.
However, the path ahead is going to be a harsh one for AL candidate and former lawmaker Shafiqur Rahman Chowdhury.
He is being challenged by Yahya Chowdhury, JP candidate and former MP, and Mokabbir Khan, Gonoforum’s candidate and incumbent lawmaker.
Besides, Biswanath municipality mayor and local AL leader Muhibur Rahman, who got his candidacy back following a High Court order last week, also surfaced into the contest as an independent aspirant.
Trinamool BNP’s candidate Abdur Rab Mallik will also try to give a tough contest.
AL candidate and incumbent lawmaker Habibur Rahman is facing five other contenders, including independent aspirant and AL leader Ihteshamul Huq Chowdhury, and JP candidate Atiqur Rahman.
Atiqur previously lost to Habibur in the 2021 by-polls, and may not give much contest this time too.
However, the electoral field in the constituency, comprising of Dakshin Surma, Fenchuganj and Balaganj upazilas, has heated up as Ihteshamul, also general secretary of Bangladesh Medical Association, recently alleged that Habibur’s supporters have been obstructing his campaign activities.
AL Sylhet city unit president Mashuk Uddin Ahmed, also a freedom fighter, is contesting from the constituency comprising Kanaighat and Zakiganj upazilas.
He is facing six candidates including independent candidate Dr Ahmed Al-Kabir, also a freedom fighter and AL leader, another independent candidate and local Islamist leader Mohammad Husamuddin Chowdhury and JP candidate Shabbir Ahmed.
Of them, Ahmed Al-Kabir has more influence compared to Mashuk Uddin due to his longstanding philanthropic works in healthcare and education.
However, Husamuddin, who is known as “Phultoli Peer”, is likely going to give a hard time to Mashuk as he is an avid AL supporter and was a preferred candidate for the party in 2018 polls.
Former education minister Nurul Islam Nahid is contesting with an AL ticket from the constituency comprising Beanibazar and Golapganj upazilas.
Among his five contenders, Trinamool BNP chairperson Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury is the toughest opponent.
Also, independent candidate and AL leader Sarwar Hossain and JP candidate Selim Uddin will likely put up a good contest, according to locals.