Over 150 candidates of the Jatiya Party are contesting in the election, 29 of them it claims under the Awami League-led Grand Alliance.
In the other seats, the Jatiya Party candidates will compete separately, potentially jeopardising the chances of the ruling party candidates.
Leaders of the HM Ershad-led party, however, gave different accounts about how many constituencies its candidates will contest separately, according to a bdnews24 report.
The party sent a list of its candidates to the Election Commission as the deadline for nomination withdrawal ended in the afternoon on Sunday.
The party’s candidates will contest for total 172 seats, including 29 under the Grand Alliance, with its plough logo, SM Faisal Chishty, a member of the Jatiya Party Presidium, told the media after submitting the list.
Chishty also said 11 more candidates were added to the list of 132 candidates.
He said Ershad and Secretary General Mashiur Rahman Ranga had signed the list.
Ranga, however, told reporters at Ershad’s Banani offices that 132 candidates, not 143 as claimed by Chishty, will contest with the plough symbol along with the 29 under the Grand Alliance.
When journalists told him about Chishty’s claim, Ranga said, “No, no. No such letter has been submitted. The one I’ve sent after finalising in the afternoon has been submitted.”
Ranga claimed he took the list to the Combined Military Hospital, where Ershad is undergoing treatment, for his consent and signature.
“He also knows that we are contesting for 132 seats separately. The number of our seats outside the alliance is 132. This is final,” the newly appointed secretary general said.
He also claimed a letter signed by Ershad’s Press Secretary Sunil Suvo Roy created the confusion.
Ranga alleged Sunil issued the letter without consulting him and did not even take his calls on Saturday night and Sunday morning.
Confusion over the number of Jatiya Party candidates deepened when the Awami League sent its list to the EC showing 26 seats for its key ally.
No comment on the confusion over share of seats between the Awami League and the Jatiya Party was immediately available from the ruling party.
Ranga said the Grand Alliance leader had “initially faced problems to reach a consensus, but finally agreed that both parties can cooperate in the seats with candidates from either side.”
Among the Grand Alliance candidates, according to the Awami League list, Ershad is contesting for Rangpur-3, the Jatiya Party’s Senior Co-Chairman Raushon Ershad for Mymensingh-4, and Ranga for Rangpur-1.
Jatiya Party leaders said Ershad was also running for Dhaka-17 and Raushon for Mymensingh-7.
But the Awami League list says Akbar Hossain Pathan Farooque is the ruling party candidate for Dhaka-17 while Hafez Ruhul Amin Madani is for Mymensingh-7.