Monday, January 21, 2019 | ePaper

DNCC Mayoral polls

Atiq, Tabith are busy with polls race

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Reza Mahmud :
Possible mayor candidates for Dhaka North City Corporation are passing busy time as the polls will take place on February 26.
Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda announced the schedule at Nirbachon Bhaban in the capital city on January 9.
The ruling Awami League and the BNP have taken the DNCC polls as sign of strength for the national polls to be held shortly.
Sources said, former BGMEA President Md. Atiqul Islam are trying to get ticket for the mayor post from the ruling Awamil League.
On the other hand, Tabith Awal, the former mayor candidate is likely to be  the BNP choice for the second successive time.
Atiqul Islam has already started his ground work. He has started mass communication and campaigns in different areas of Dhaka North.
Tabith Awal also has started his indoor preparations like paper works about voting areas, forming teams for election work, drafting manifesto, and  design of posters and leaflets.
AL insiders said, the party chief and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has given green signal to Atiqul Islam to start field work as its mayor candidate.  
But AL General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader on Thursday said that the party would declare its nomination on January 16.
"Before the official declaration, no one is supposed to be considered as the  AL candidate," said the Minister on  Thursday after the  party's secretariat level meeting.
He also said that Atiqul Islam met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who asked him to continue work.
Apart from this, former FBCCI President AK Azad, Dhaka North City Unit AL General Secretary Sadek Khan and industrialist and Tanti League Dhaka North City Unit Advisor Adam Tamijee Haque also are in discussion as the ruling party mayor candidates there.  BNP Assistant Publicity Secretary Shakil Wahed is also in the pipe line.
Jamaat-e-Islami has, meanwhile, selected their candidate. His name is Md. Selim Uddin. But it is not sure whether the party will be able to contest as a political party since it has lost its registration. However, any Jamaat leader can contest the mayor post as an independent candidate, said  Commission Secretary Helal Uddin.
Besides this, Zonaed Saki will compete the mayor post in the polls from Gano Shanghati Andolan. He is also engaged in field work.
On the other hand, Singer Shafin Ahmed has been declared as Jatiyatabadi Ganotantrik Andolan's (NDM) candidate. He is also meeting the voters.
When contacted, Atiqul Islam told The New Nation on Thursday, "I am working to introduce myself  with the people of the area. I am trying to know how are they living."
He said, "If the party (AL) nominates me as a Mayor candidate, I will try to garner public support to win for serving them utmost."
Contrarily, Tabith Awal told The New Nation on Thursday, "If the party gives me nomination again, I am hopeful about victory with popular support. I gave pledge to the people during the first polls of DNCC that I would make Dhaka  North an welfare zone. I shall not retire from the given  promise  if  I am elected Mayor"
DNCC Returning Officer MA Kashem warned against starting campaign before distribution of symbols. The Election Commission must take action against the law breakers.
When asked, Atiqul Islam said that he was not involved with election campaign. "I am not breaking the law. The Prime Minister has just asked me to meet the people and to know how do they live. I am just doing that. If the EC rules that  campaign is unlawful, I must not do that."
When contacted, AL Presidium Member Muhammad Faruk Khan told The New Nation, "We have discussed about the Mayor candidacy in few meetings. The meetings decided to let the aspirants to start ground work. The party will conduct survey about the candidates' popularity. Then we will choose our candidate from them."
BNP Standing Committee Member Mirza Abbas told The New Nation, "It does not matter who will get nomination. The people are with us. They will vote for our candidate."
Abdullah Al Noman, one of the Vice Chairmen of BNP, said, Tabith Awal is an experienced hand as he competed in last polls of DNCC for the same post. The young BNP leader must win if the election is held in free and fair manner.  Elections will also pick-up 18 new councillors for 18 new wards of both Dhaka North and Dhaka South City Corporations and six women councillors of Dhaka North.
The CEC said, there are 29,48,510 voters in DNCC. The numbers of voters of 18 new wards of DSCC is 4,77,410.
The Mayor post of DNCC fell vacant with the death of Annisul Huq on November 30.
On December 1, the Local Government Division officially declared the post vacant.

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