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AL confident of victory, BNP doubts free, fair election

Dncc, dscc mayoral polls
Abu Jakir, Dhaka
AL confident of victory, BNP doubts free, fair election

The ruling Awami League is confident of its party candidates’ victory in the upcoming elections to the two Dhaka city corporation, claiming a strong supporter base in the capital, while its arch rival BNP has cast doubts over the holding of free and fair elections. Awami League leaders said the government’s development works and the party’s strong organisational strength in the city will result in its party nominated candidates’ victory in the elections to Dhaka North and South City Corporation slated for January 30.

They also believe that the AL nominated candidates will have easy victories in the upcoming city elections as the party has nominated two popular candidates to run for the mayoral polls. The people don’t want to see BNP leaders as public representatives in any sector, they claimed. Talking to reporters on Sunday at the Dhanmondi party office, AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader said, “We are optimistic about our party nominated candidates’ victory in the city polls as both of our mayoral candidates -- Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh and Atiqul Islam -- have clean image and huge popularity.” He also said the AL mayoral candidates have adequate capacity on their own to conduct election campaigns and face the BNP candidates in the upcoming city polls.

When contacted, AL Organising Secretary SM Kamal Hossain said the upcoming city corporation elections will be held in a free and fair manner and people are eagerly waiting to cast their votes in favour of Nouka (boat), the electoral symbol of Awami League, as they want development.  “Our party chief Sheikh Hasina is popular across the world. I think Dhaka city residents will cast votes for Nouka just because of Sheikh Hasina as they love her very much. Besides, we have nominated two best candidates for contesting in the mayoral race,” he added.

Campaigning for the city polls last week, Ruling Awami League-nominated mayoral candidate for Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC), Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh, called upon his supporters to drum up electioneering to ensure his victory in the polls with a margin of two lakh votes over his rival.

During his campaigning in different areas of the city yesterday, Taposh promised to ensure all basic civic facilities for the DSCC residents within 90 days of his taking oath as the mayor.

“If I get elected in the upcoming city polls, DSCC will be rebuilt in accordance with my 30-year mega plan for the city in a bid to make Dhaka active, healthy and modern,” he said.

Expressing firm optimism on his victory, the AL nominated candidate said the residents of Dhaka south are responding well to his call and they are taking part in his campaign with enthusiasm.  

Meanwhile, the AL nominated candidate for Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) elections, Atiqul Islam, yesterday conducted his polls campaigning in the city’s Khilgaon area. During his campaigning, Atiqul promised to build a better city for the residents. He also alleged that his rival BNP candidate Tabith Awal is spreading falsehood that they (BNP leaders and supporters) were obstructed in carrying out poll campaigning.

Meanwhile, the BNP backed mayoral candidates have expressed their apprehensions over holding of free and fair city elections.

Talking to reporters, BNP mayoral candidate for Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Tabith Awal yesterday said the Election Commission (EC) is yet to take any visible effort to assure the people that they would be able to cast their votes freely.   

“I apprehend that this election won’t be free and fair one as the EC itself is playing a questionable role…and making different controversial statements,” he alleged.

Tabith, who was carrying out electioneering in Karwan Bazar and Tejgaon areas, further alleged that the BNP backed candidates were receiving threats while many have been detained. Attacks have been carried out on the election offices, he alleged.  

“But there is no remedy even when complaints are filed with the EC,” he said.

Referring to attacks on his election campaign allegedly by his opponent activists, he asked, “Where are the Election Commissioners?”

Tabith, campaigning with the sheaf of paddy symbol, sought votes from residents in Tejkunipara, Science College and Church area of Tejgaon yesterday. BNP Standing Committee Member Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain accompanied him.

Speaking at a roadside rally, Tabith called upon the people to cast their vote for the sheaf of paddy as part of the movement to free party Chairperson Khaleda Zia and restore democracy.

He issued a note of warning to his supporters that illegal casting of votes in the city polls before the election day must not be allowed.

Earlier, he visited the grave of BNP founder and former president Zaiur Rahman and placed a wreath.

Meanwhile, BNP mayoral candidate for Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Ishraque Hossain also alleged that a situation is being created to allow vote-rigging and manipulation.

The DSCC mayoral candidate said this while talking to reporters as Ishraque began poll campaign from his Gopibagh residence in the capital yesterday.

Replying to a question, the BNP candidate said an atmosphere now prevails where rival candidates are resorting to repression on his activists. “It cannot be termed a level playing filed,” he lamented.

Ishraque, son of late mayor of undivided Dhaka City Sadeque Hossain Khoka, called upon the EC to reconsider its decision of using Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) in the city polls, claiming that the EVMs leave possibilities for manipulation of the poll results.

Ishraque said he was getting a very good response from the city dwellers in his poll campaigning. Some senior BNP leader have also alleged that suspicions among the people are growing as the authorities concerned have not yet taken any measure to create a congenial atmosphere for holding neutral elections.

BNP Standing Committee Member Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said the people do not believe that holding a free and fair election is possible under the present government. BNP joins the polls in a bid to uphold democracy and to expose the mask of the government and the EC, he said.

Talking to The Independent, BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said it was a matter of great concern that the Election Commission has remained firm in its decision to use EVMs in the elections.

The BNP leader claimed that the EC has decided to use Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) to ensure victory for the ruling party candidates, taking a stance against the country’s people.

MK

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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