The hill regional organizations did not field any candidates in Khagrachari in the 12th parliamentary elections. In the last few elections, they competed well with the two major parties by running independent candidates. However, they blame the lack of fair environment and political instability for not coming to the elections this time.
In 2001, from the 8th National Assembly elections, the hill organization UPDF contested in Khagrachari constituency by an independent candidate. Several organizations, including UPDF, participated in the ninth, tenth and eleventh parliamentary elections.
It can be seen from the review of the election results, that the independent candidates of Pahari fought hard with the candidates of big parties like Awami League and BNP. Their position was second in the 10th and 11th parliamentary elections.
However, the positions of the organizations in the 12th parliamentary elections are different. Their decision not to participate in the election was attributed to the political unrest along with the lack of voting environment.
UPDF organizer Angya Marma said that the government is conducting one-sided elections, so UPDF is not going to this election.
JSS-MN Larma central president Bimal Kanti Chakma said, ‘We participate in elections every time. Be it direct or indirect. But this time due to the political instability of the country, we have not yet decided. We are closely monitoring.’
Civil society fears that voter turnout may be low in the elections due to the absence of regional organizations. However, Awami League leaders say that hill people will vote after seeing the development of the government.
Khagrachari Journalist Union President Pradeep Chowdhury said regional organization including UPDF is a big factor in local or national elections. This time they are not coming to the election. It will reduce voter turnout. That will have an adverse effect.
Khagrachari District Awami League General Secretary Nirmlendu Chowdhury said that in the last 15 years there has been a lot of development in every sector including agriculture, communication and tourism in Khagrachari. If hill organizations do not hold hill voters hostage, they will vote for the boat symbol.’
Total voters in Khagrachari are 5 lakh 15 thousand 419 people. Half of which belong to hill communities.