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Awami League’s 235 candidates are millionaires: TIB

Logan D Suza

82 percent of the Awami League candidates participating in the upcoming 12th National Assembly elections are millionaires. Apart from this, about 47 percent of independent candidates are millionaire candidates. The total number of millionaire candidates is 571. Among them there are 235 millionaire candidates of Awami League.

This information was given at a press conference titled ‘Election Affidavit Documentary: What message is it giving to the people’ organized at Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) office in Dhanmondi, capital, on Tuesday.

According to TIB, 57 percent of the candidates participating in the election are businessmen. The participation rate of business candidates has increased by 21 percent over the past 15 years. Not only the business candidates, the number of candidates who earn one crore rupees per year has increased.

This year 164 candidates participating in the election earn crores of taka per year. However, 65.30 percent of the candidates who earn less than Rs. Apart from this, around 27 percent of the candidates are millionaires (on the basis of real estate value). 18 millionaire candidates in number.

Ghulam Dastgir Gazi is on top of these 18 people. He is the current Textile and Jute Minister.
According to the affidavit, his assets (based on immovable asset value) are worth more than Tk 1,345 crore. Then independent candidate of Brakshanbaria-1 constituency SAK Ekramuzzaman’s assets worth 421.16 crore taka; Awami League candidate of Dhaka-1 Constituency Salman Fazlur Rahman’s wealth is Tk 315.76 crore; Comilla-8 Constituency Awami League candidate Abu Jafar Mohammad Shafi Uddin’s assets worth Tk 306.68 crore; Comilla-3 Constituency Awami League candidate Yusuf Abdullah Haroon’s wealth is Tk 277.61 crore; Independent candidate of Chuadanga-1 Constituency Dilip Kumar Agarwala’s assets worth Tk 276.19 crores; Sirajganj-5 Constituency Awami League candidate Abdul Momin Mandal’s assets worth Tk 253.24 crore; Independent candidate of Narayanganj-1 Constituency Gazi Golam Mortaza has 233 crores worth of assets; Independent candidate of Narsingdi-3 seat. Sirajul Islam Mollah’s wealth is 174.01 crore taka; Awami League candidate for Dhaka-6 Constituency Mohammad Said Khokon’s wealth is Tk 163 crore; Independent candidate for Faridpur-3 constituency Abdul Quader Azad’s wealth is Tk 156.39 crore; Awami League candidate for Gaibandha-1 constituency Afroza Bari’s assets worth 154.66 crore taka; Comilla-2 Constituency Awami League candidate Selima Ahmad’s wealth is Tk 152.28 crore; Mahmuda Begum, an independent candidate for Lakshipur-4 constituency, has a net worth of Tk 130.42 crores; Another independent candidate of Lakshipur-4 constituency. Abdullah’s wealth is also 130.42 crore taka; Comilla-10 Constituency Awami League candidate Ahm Mustafa Kamal’s assets worth Tk 104.17 crore; Jamalpur-1 Constituency Awami League candidate Noor Mohammad’s wealth is Tk 102.37 crore; Dewan Zahid Ahmed, an independent candidate for Manikganj-2, has assets worth Tk 100.45 crore.

According to the TIB report, the number of millionaire candidates is 571.

There are 235 millionaire candidates of Awami League.
At this time, Mohammad Tauhidul Islam, the head of the research team, showed the pictures of the affidavits of the candidates given to the Election Commission in the ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth elections. He said that 1 thousand 896 people are participating in the 12th election. Out of this, independent candidates are 18 percent, whose number is 347. And party candidates are 82 percent. Compared to the last four elections, the number of independent candidates has increased this time. There were 140 independent candidates in the ninth parliamentary election, 105 in the tenth, and 134 in the eleventh.

13.66 percent candidates are self-educated

13.66 percent of the candidates participating in the election are self-educated in the affidavit analysis. About 57 percent of the candidates are graduate and post graduate degree holders. Among them, graduation is the most 29.41 percent, post graduation 27.57 percent. 13.66 percent candidates are self-educated. And the number of candidates who have passed higher secondary is 11 percent and a little more than 9 percent have passed secondary.

57 percent candidates are businessmen

57.34 percent of the candidates in the 12th parliamentary elections are business. 9.17 and 7.81 percent of candidates showed law and agriculture as profession respectively. After that there are 5.16 percent of employees, 4.95 percent of teachers. 2.86 percent candidates showed politics as a profession. Retired officials 2.71 percent, doctors 2.19 percent, journalists 0.83 percent, housekeepers 0.68 percent and others 6.30 percent.

82 percent of Awami League candidates are millionaires

In the ninth election in Awami League, only a little more than 27% of the candidates were millionaires. In a span of 15 years, the number of millionaire candidates has increased to 82 percent. Apart from this, about 47 percent of the independent candidates are millionaires.

It was also informed in the press conference that, although the law of the land (Land Reform Act: 2023) sets the maximum limit for the ownership of land by an individual (60 bigha in case of agriculture and including non-agricultural land which can go up to 100 bigha), many candidates have large land ownership in their names.

A comparative calculation of the affidavits shows that the income of some of the members of the 11th parliament has increased by more than 2 thousand percent. In five years, the income of MPs has increased by an average of 2,238 percent and in 15 years, this rate has increased by 7,116 percent Apart from this, the income of dependents of MPs increased by 2 thousand 409 percent in five years and this rate increased by 2 thousand 409 percent in 15 years.

Regarding election affidavits, TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman said, “One of the major features of this election has been the participation of independent candidates on a large scale. In terms of numbers, that is more than the last four elections. However, a large proportion of them are candidates who are outside the nomination of the ruling political party or are rebel candidates. No party has fielded candidates in 300 seats, but in hundreds of seats at least one or in many cases more than one candidate is a member of the ruling party or has support.

In response to a question about the abnormal increase in wealth of the members of parliament, TIB Board of Trustee Chairman Sultana Kamal said, “The number of landless people in our country is very high. Couldn’t raise the poverty level too much. We are actually creating two societies, in which one society is very wealthy, the other society is in a state of subsistence. Sometimes it doesn’t even add up. Such a situation is prevailing in the country. Looking at the rate at which the wealth of ministers and MPs is increasing, sometimes it seems unrealistic to myself. But wealth inequality has become the new normal in Bangladesh. But it was not about the ideology of our liberation war. The liberation war was fought for equality.

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