Abdus Sobhan Golap is the Publicity and Publication Secretary of Awami League. He was the heavyweight candidate of Awami League. In Madaripur-3 Constituency in 2018, he was elected Member of Parliament for the first time after getting party nomination in 11th Parliament Election. After that, the controversy started. He was separated from the leaders and workers in the party conflict. He has also been criticized for various controversial activities including nomination trading in the last UP elections. Based on the opinion of Trinamool leaders and activists of district Awami League along with Kalkini and Dasar upazilas in the 12th parliamentary elections, the name of Abdus Sobahan Golap was not sent to the center for nomination. Even then he got the party nomination. After that, Golap faced the final election opposition of Trinamool leaders and activists. Because of this, he lost to the independent candidate in the base of Awami League by a huge margin of votes.
Awami League’s Abdus Sobhan Mia Golap got 61 thousand 971 votes in this seat. His rival Kalkini Upazila Awami League president Tahmina Begum fought as an independent candidate and won by getting 96 thousand 633 votes in the eagle symbol.
A report by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), a global platform of investigative journalists, said Abdus Sobhan had concealed his US citizenship in his election affidavit in 2018. Between 2014 and 2019, he bought 9 houses for about 4 million dollars. Most recently in 2019, he bought a semi-detached house in Jackson Heights, New York for $1.18 million. After the publication of this report, there was a negative impact on him among the local voters.
Beginning of distance with party leaders-workers
Madaripur-3 Constituency consists of 5 Unions of Sadar, Kalkini and Dasar upazilas of Madaripur. Awami League was not nominated in the 2013 election by late Syed Abul Hossain, the then local member of Parliament for the Padma Setu construction project. Instead of Syed Abul Hossain, Bangladesh Awami League’s organizing secretary AFM Bahauddin Nashim was nominated for Madaripur-3 constituency. He was elected member of parliament of this seat and took the lead of Awami League.
A large part of Kalkini Upazila Awami League, he worked in this constituency for five consecutive years. A section of the Awami League known as followers of Syed Abul Hossain remains silent. Later, in the 2018 National Parliament election, in the internal political competition between the followers of Syed Abul Hossain and the followers of Bahauddin Nashim, the then Prime Minister’s Special Assistant Abdus Sobahan Mia Golap surprised everyone and got the nomination of the boat. Paying respect to the Prime Minister, the local leaders-activists chose Abdus Sobhan Mia Golap as the symbol of the boat and were also elected as members of parliament with a huge vote. After that, he got involved in controversy centered on municipal and union council elections.
Madaripur District Awami League President Shahabuddin Ahmed Molla said, ‘Last November 30, my life leader Sheikh Hasina held a public meeting in Kalkini for the boat symbol of Awami League. The names of 11 leaders of the district Awami League were proposed to attend that public meeting. But Abdus Sobhan Golap sahib removed the names of our district Awami League leaders from the list. The leaders and workers of the district Awami League can lose their minds. But we had support for Tahmina Begum in Kalkini. He has kept Kalkini Upazila Awami League like a family for the last 50 years. As he won, we think Awami League did not lose here. Awami League has won. A controversial boatman lost.’
Abdus Sobhan Mia Golap held a press conference at Madaripur Press Club last Tuesday. There, he alleged, ‘Eagle symbol candidates in the elections have lost the boat through subtle manipulation by the influence of an ‘invisible’ force in various centres. And they have ruined my image by spreading false propaganda against me.’
On the other hand, Tahmina Begum also held a press conference at Kalkini Upazila Awami League office on the same day. There he said, ‘Abdus Sobhan Golap sahib has been rejected by the people of Madaripur-3 because of his wrongdoings and corruption. Having lost the election, he is now trying to create an anarchic situation by vandalizing the houses of our Awami League leaders and workers. In the meantime, his workers have also bombed our peaceful victory march. We will not condone wrongdoers with the people. I will not allow anyone to do wrong.’