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Bangladesh Awami League finalises 41 for reserved women seats in parliament
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Bangladesh Awami League finalises 41 for reserved women seats in parliament

Agency News

Dhaka, Feb 9: The Awami League has named 41 including activist Aroma Dutta and actress Subarna Mustafa for the seats reserved for women in Bangladesh parliament.

General Secretary Obaidul Quader announced the names after a meeting of the Awami League Parliamentary Board chaired by party chief Sheikh Hasina on Friday.

Aroma, the winner of the Begum Rokeya Award-2016, has been working for the socio-economic development of rural women in Bangladesh for decades.

Her grandfather Dhirendranath Datta was the first person to demand state recognition of Bangla language in the Pakistan Constituent Assembly. Dhirendranath and his son Dilip Datta were tortured and killed by the Pakistani military in 1971.

Aroma's father Sanjib Datta was a journalist, who worked in the Pakistan Observer that was named Bangladesh Observer after liberation. He was also one of the coordinators of Mukti Bahini (freedom fighters) during the 1971 Liberation War that led to Bangladesh's birth as a sovereign nation.

Suborna, named for this year’s Ekushey Padak just two days ago, was among a horde of celebrities, who campaigned for the Awami League before the December 30 general election.

Among the 350 seats in parliament, 50 are reserved exclusively for women. While the 300 parliamentary seats are contested in a direct election, the reserved seats are allocated to political parties in proportion to their number of seats in parliament.

Accordingly, 43 seats will be allotted to the Awami League, four to the Jatiya Party, one each to the BNP and the Workers Party while the independent candidates may receive one seat if they join the votes.

The election schedule for the reserved seats will be announced on Feb 17, the Election Commission has said.

Aroma will represent a reserved seat in Cumilla, according to the list provided by Quader.

Besides Suborna, those from Dhaka on the list are Nahid Ijhar Khan, Shabnam Jahan Shila, Shirin Ahmed, and Zannatul Bakia.

Waseqa Ayesha Khan and Khadizatul Anwar are from Chattogram.

The others include Fazilatun Nessa from Munshiganj, Sheikh Ani Rahman from Pirojpur, Advocate Gloria Jharna Sarker from Khulna, and Syeda Zohra Alauddin from Moulvibazar.

In the 10th parliament, the Awami League had 39 MPs from seats reserved for women. Among them, the party’s Women Affairs Secretary Fazilatun Nessa and Waseqa Ayesha Khan, daughter of late Chattogram Awami League leader Ataur Rahman Khan Kaiser, have been nominated by the party again, according to Abdur Rahman Khan, a joint general secretary.

Sheikh Ani Rahman is the wife of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s cousin Sheikh Hafizur Rahman Tokon.

Zohra Alauddin is president of the party’s Moulvibazar district unit. Before graduating from Dhaka University, she had been involved with Bangladesh Chhatra League, the party’s student wing.

Jharna Sarker, a Supreme Court lawyer, was among the injured in the Aug 21, 2004 grenade attack on an Awami League rally. The former BCL leader is a member of the party’s legal affairs sub-committee and its affiliate the Krishak League.

Anjum Sultana from Cumilla, Sultana Nadira from Barguna, Hosne Ara from Jamalpur, Rumana Jolly from Gazipur, Umme Fatema Nazma Begum from Brahmanbarhia, Habiba Rahman Khan Shefaly from Netrokona, Aporajita Haque from Tangail, Mosammat Shamima Akter Khanam from Sunamganj, Shamsunnahar Bhuyian from Gazipur, Rabeya Alam from Nilphamari, Tamanna Nusrat Bubly from Narsingdi, Basonti Chakma

from Khagrhachharhi, Kaniz Fatema Ahmed from Cox’s Bazar, and Rushema Begum from Faridpur are also on the list.

The others are Nargis Rahman from Gopalganj, Monira Sultana from Mymensingh, Mosammat Khaleda Khanam from Jhenaidah, Syeda Rubina Mira from Barishal, Kazi Kaniz Sultana from Patuakhali, Zakia Tabassum from Dinajpur, Farida Khanam (Saki) from Noakhali, Syeda Rashida Begum from Kushtia, Adiba Anjum Mita from Rajshahi, Shirina Nahar from Khulna, Ferdousi Islam Jessy from Chanpainawabganj, Parvin Haque

Shikder from Shariatpur, Khadeza Nusrat from Rajbari, Zakia Parvin Khanam from Netrokona, and Tahmina Begum from Madaripur. (UNI)