June 29, 2004

Falu's background

Did you ever wonder what Mr. M Mosaddeq Ali Falu's background is? He is now campaigning heavily as the four-party coalition candidate for the Dhaka-10 by-election scheduled day after tomorrow. Each day you can watch him campaigning in NTV (he owns its majority share) whereas there is little or no mention of his rival candidates. But you hardly know him. Even The Daily Star tried in vain to gather the information about his background.

Mr. Falu first came into the political limelight in 1991, when he was appointed personal secretary to then prime minister Khaleda Zia. He was reappointed in the same position in 2001. The version general people know about him is that he was an ex non-commissioned soldier of Bangladesh Army (education qualification required: Class Eight). Reportedly Mr. Falu started his political career as a petty office assistant of the BNP Bangladesh Nationalist Party (est. In 1978) head office. He worked closely with Begum Khaleda Zia during her street campaigns against the then Ershad regime during 1987-1990 and saved her from police brutality in a number of occasions. Thus he gained the trust of Begum Khaleda Zia. Nobody knows how he has become wealthy enough to be a majority shareholder of a private TV channel and the owner of a number of undisclosed businesses.

Bangladesh Constitution regrettably does not require any educational qualification, or declaration of source of income for being a member of parliament. But my question is why should a candidate hide his/her past when the voters will be putting their trust on him/her for a term?

Here is his rival's profile.


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