The Awami League’s pick for the Magura-1 constituency in the Jan 7 parliamentary elections, cricket superstar Shakib Al Hasan, has triggered intense debates, especially in the locality.
Since the announcement on Sunday, fans and leaders of the ruling party have gathered outside his home in Magura to show support.
But not everyone is impressed.
Some local leaders and activists in Magura expressed mixed reactions to his nomination prior to the elections.
Abdul Fattah, president of the Magura district unit of the ruling party, told reporters, "We will work alongside the candidate chosen by the Awami League."
The Awami League's General Secretary of Magura unit Pankaj Kundu said that the party leaders will hold a meeting to reach a decision. "I don't want to make any further comments for now," he added.
Obaidur Rahman Tipu, the ruling party's Joint General Secretary, expressed his excitement at Shakib's nomination.
He told bdnews24.com, "We are delighted to welcome him."
However, Shakharul Islam Shakil, Awami League's Joint General Secretary of the Magura unit, is far from happy with Shakib's political ambitions.
"Shakib is not in touch with grassroots people,” he reasoned.
"I don't think it makes sense to nominate him in an important parliamentary seat like Magura-1 in such a short period."
"We have worked a lot with Saifuzzaman Shikhor for the Magura district. The sudden announcement of Shakib's nomination has led to such a situation that it is becoming impossible to talk to ordinary activists."
Fearing that the party will fall behind organisationally in the next 5 years, he added, "Cases of nominating a non-political person to the district headquarters have happened before. In such instances, it is the organisation that suffers the most."
Shakib's Magura neighbour, Milan Ghosh, told the reporters, "We will have to forget everything about our expectations for Magura-1's parliamentary seat and work with whoever receives the nomination."
The cricketer's father, Khandaker Mashroor Reza Kutil, has expressed gratitude towards Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for nominating Shakib.
"We seek prayers so that Shakib can serve the people of Magura as its representative."