POST TIME: 25 January, 2019 12:43:56 AM
Hectic lobbying to get AL nomination
DNCC mayoral by-election
Staff Reporter, Dhaka

Hectic lobbying to get AL nomination

Business leaders, as well as Awami League (AL) leaders, are lobbying hard to secure the AL's nomination for contesting the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) mayoral by-election, scheduled to be held on February 28.

Five mayoral aspirants collected nomination forms for contesting the DNCC mayoral by-polls in the last two days. The sale of AL nomination forms started at Sheikh Hasina’s Dhanmondi political office from Wednesday and will end today.

The five mayoral aspirants are businesses’ leader Atiqul Islam, AL central sub-committee member Poet Russel Ashequi, Adam Tamiji Haque, director of Haque Group, and AL leaders-Yead Ali Fakir and Kutub Uddin Nannu. Besides, sources said Dhaka Club president Khairul Majid Mahmud is also lobbying to get Sheikh Hasina’s nod for contesting the DNCC polls.

When contacted, Majid, also chairman and managing director of the Caldwell group of companies, said: “If the prime minister nominates me, I will contest the race. The business community is supporting me. I am also ready, but it depends solely on AL president Sheikh Hasina,” he said.  The renowned businessman was the international affairs secretary of the Awami Juba League in 1996, and at present is a member of the Narshingdi district AL central executive committee.

He is the third time president of the Dhaka Club and was also a director of the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) Replying to a question over the phone, he said: “Yes, I may collect nomination forms on Friday.”

Business leader Atiqul Islam, who has collected the nomination form for the DNCC polls, told this correspondent yesterday (Thursday) that he is confident about getting the AL ticket for contesting the mayoral race. Atiqul Islam served the office of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) president for the 2013-14 term.

“The Bangladesh Awami League is an old and large political party and its chief had nominated me for the race, but the HC stayed the election schedule for six months. So, I hope Sheikh Hasina will nominate me for the DNCC polls this time again,” he said. “The prime minister, at one of her December 30 election rallies in Dhaka, had even asked her party leaders to introduce me as the AL mayoral candidate for the DNCC. So, it is clear that I am going to get “Nouka”, the electoral symbol of the AL, for contesting the polls,” he added.

After collecting the nomination form yesterday, Poet Russel Ashequi said Sheikh Hasina can change her earlier decision and give a chance to the young generation, as she did while forming her new cabinet. Talking to the media, the young AL leader said his dream is to make Dhaka a livable, secured and modern city by ensuring all modern amenities.  

The Awami League’s local government nomination board will meet on January 26 (tomorrow) to select the party candidate for the DNCC mayoral election. According to the polls schedule, the last date for filing nomination papers for both the DNCC by-polls and election to the new wards is January 30.

Returning officers will scrutinise the nomination papers on February 2, and the last date for withdrawing candidature is February 9. The DNCC mayor’s post fell vacant after the death of mayor Annisul Huq on November 30, 2017.  In terms of population, the DNCC is the country’s largest city corporation, with 23.45 lakh voters.

Earlier, the ruling party had picked Atiqul Islam as its candidate for the DNCC mayoral by-election at a meeting of its local government nomination board at Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s official residence, Ganabhaban.