POST TIME: 20 January, 2020 10:42:54 PM / LAST MODIFIED: 20 January, 2020 10:49:12 PM
Dhaka North South city polls
AL, BNP stalwarts campaign for mayoral candidates
After the Dec 30, 2018 nat’l polls, voters in the capital are again going to witness an electoral battle, mainly between ‘boat’ and ‘sheaf of paddy’

AL, BNP stalwarts campaign for mayoral candidates

AL mayoral candidate for Dhaka North city polls Atiqul Islam, accompanied by Juba League chairman Sheikh Fazle Shams Parash, (left) leads a motorcade during an electioneering as his rival from the BNP Tabith Awal, accompanied by party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, (right) leads a procession yesterday. Star Mail Photo

Central leaders of both the ruling Awami League (AL) and its arch rival, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), have started campaigning to mobilise voters’ support in favour of their party-nominated candidates for the upcoming Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) polls, scheduled for February 1. Stalwarts of both the AL and the BNP have already finalised their campaign strategies for their respective party-nominated candidates for the Dhaka North and South City polls, which are being held under party banners for the first time.

After the general elections on December 30, 2018, the city’s voters are again going to witness an electoral battle, primarily between the ‘boat’ and the ‘sheaf of paddy’, the poll symbols of the AL and BNP respectively. Both these parties have already formed election steering committees separately with their central leaders in order to outline election strategies and carry out campaigns in favour of their respective candidates and to oversee party activities related to the upcoming February 1 local body elections. Both parties have made elaborate preparations and outlined different strategies to make their party candidates victorious in the city polls. The ruling party leaders and its mayoral candidates are highlighting the government’s achievements and development projects while seeking votes from the city’s residents. They have promised to modernise and develop the capital. On the other hand, the BNP’s leaders and its mayoral candidates are focused on the movement to re-establish people’s voting rights and restore democracy in the country.

Taking part in the electioneering in favour of one of the party’s two mayoral candidates, BNP secretary-general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir yesterday claimed that a mass upsurge has been created among the city’s denizens in favour of the sheaf of paddy, the poll symbol of the BNP. “The mass upsurge that has been created in the city elections among the people in favour of the sheaf of paddy is unprecedented,” said Mirza Alamgir while speaking at a

roadside rally in front of Baitul Mosharraf Jame Mosque in Mirpur. The BNP stalwart took part in the election campaign for the first time in favour of the party’s mayoral candidate for Dhaka North, Tabith Awal. He will continue to campaign in favour of the party’s two mayoral candidates, according to party sources.

BNP standing committee members, including Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Barrister Moudud Ahmed and Mirza Abbas, have already taken part in the poll campaign in favour of the candidates fighting it out in the two city polls, slated for January 30.

The BNP secretary-general said they have taken the election as a big challenge to free the party chairperson Khaleda Zia and restore democracy. “We believe that if the people get united, Khaleda Zia and democracy would be freed, and city dwellers would be free of civic problems,” he said.

Calling upon the people to cast their votes for Tabith Awal, Mirza Alamgir expressed his optimism that Awal would win the mayoral poll with a huge margin if it is held in a free and fair manner. Again, during his poll campaign for another BNP mayoral candidate Engineer Ishraque Hossain, standing committee member Mirza Abbas also called upon the people to vote for Hossain. He described Ishraque Hossain as an “eligible mayoral candidate”, saying that he would be able to build a beautiful city by coordinating the experiences of his father, Sadeque Hossain Khoka (the late mayor of undivided Dhaka) and himself (Abbas).

Speaking at the poll campaign in front of Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU), Hossain called upon the youth community to be with him and asked them to show that the youths are also capable of doing something for society. He also promised to build a beautiful city while intensifying the movement to free Khaleda and restore democracy.

Some BNP leaders, including Abdus Salam, were present during the poll campaign in favour of Ishraque Hossain.

Tabith Awal and Ishraque Hossain are contesting the mayoral polls respectively for Dhaka North City Corporation and Dhaka South City Corporation.

Meanwhile, those AL central leaders who are not members of the current Parliament, including AFM Bahauddin Nasim, Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Ahmed Hossain and BM Mozammel Haque, were seen carrying out election campaigns with party-nominated mayoral candidates over the past week in different parts of the city.

Apart from former Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) leaders, Juba League leaders are also campaigning in favour of party candidates to drum up the people’s support for the ‘boat’ symbol. Atiqul Islam conducted his election campaign in different areas of Dhaka-11 constituency, where he reiterated his promise to make Dhaka a smart, active and modern city, which ensures all amenities for city dwellers. He also highlighted during his campaign the present government’s achievements and various development projects. He called on city residents to vote for the ‘boat’ symbol to ensure further development.

The other mayoral candidate of the AL, Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh, conducted his campaign at Khilgaon area, where he claimed that the BNP has joined the upcoming city polls as part of their movement against the government. “They don’t want the development of Dhaka city, they don’t want to serve city residents, they only want to free their party chief Khaleda Zia from jail,” he added.

Calling upon the city’s dwellers to cast their votes in favour of the ‘boat’ (‘nouka’) in the upcoming city polls, Sheikh Noor said Dhaka would be turned into the modern capital of a developed nation if he is elected.