Hockey gears up for vibrant elections

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Two bickering groups named separate panels as 58 candidates on Sunday submitted their nomination papers for 28 posts in the upcoming Bangladesh Hockey Federation polls, scheduled on April 8.
The BHF ad-hoc committee general secretary Abdus Sadeque will contest for the secretary post from Bangladesh District and Divisional Sports Organisers Council panel.
He is expected to face strong challenge from Mohammedan Sporting Club councillor Mominul Haque Shaeed, the commissioner of Dhaka South City Corporation Ward-9.
Shaeed, also a football organiser and president of Arambagh Krira Sangha, has Usha Krira Chakra councillor Abdur Rashid Shikdar as an alternative candidate for the coveted general secretary post from his panel.
Both Shaeed and Shikdar also filed nomination for the vice-president posts. A total of 13 candidates, including an independent candidate, submitted their nomination paper for five vice-president posts.
Rangpur DSA councillor Kamruzzaman Chowdhury is the only independent candidate in the elections, where 84 councillors from across the country will cast their mandates.
Returning officer and National Sports Council legal officer SM Kabirul Hasan said he received 68 nomination papers against 28 posts.
‘There are some candidates who submitted their papers for more than one post. We sold out 126 nomination papers,’ he said.
The tenure of the last executive committee of the Bangladesh Hockey Federation ended on July 31, 2017 and country’s sports regulator, National Sports Council, had announced to hold the elections on August 21 in the same year.
But the NSC had postponed the election at the eleventh hour citing flood in country’s northern region though insiders said the decision was made as two squabbling groups failed to reach consensus.
After months of dilly-dally, the apex body of the country’s sports, on January 11, 2018, formed an ad-hoc committee of the federation with Sadeque as its general secretary.
‘I think I should win. If I can win, I will work for the betterment of hockey, focusing on district and divisional level hockey,’ Sadeque said on Sunday after submitting his nomination paper.
Sadeque, one of the five NSC nominated councillors, said he got the blessings from country’s top club Abahani Limited.
‘I belong to Abahani. My club believes that there is no suitable candidate, but me for the post after the death of Khwaja Rahmatullah,’ he said.
Sadeque dismissed the possibility of compromise for the secretary post, saying time ran out for making such deal.
‘There is no possibility of compromise now. Some well-wishers of hockey tried, but
Both Shaeed and I disagreed.’
Rival secretary candidate Shaeed said that he did not get any proposal to go for compromise.
‘I am hearing it first from you journalists. I did not get any proposal for negotiation.’
‘Most of the premier league hockey clubs are supporting me and I am well-prepared for the election. There are some who take opportunities before the election from a club and make the election environment filthy,’ he said.
There are five contestants – two from Sadeque panel and three from Shaeed-led panel are vying for joint secretary posts.
Both panel named one candidate for treasurer post.
Sadeque-led panel submitted 21 nomination papers against 19 posts of executive member while Shaeed-led submitted 24 names.
The scrutiny of the submitted papers will be completed on April 1 and the deadline for nomination withdrawal is April 4.

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