Wednesday, February 20, 2019 | ePaper

Gazipur CC election tomorrow

Mass arrests of opposition men alleged

BGB deployed, campaign comes to a stop

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Reza Mahmud and Noman Mosharef :
All preparations are afoot to hold the Gazipur City Corporation election tomorrow. The government has deployed a  total of 29 platoons of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) in Gazipur city ahead of the elections to maintain law and order situation.
They were deployed in order to check any untoward incident, said Dr Dewan Mohammad Humayun Kabir, Deputy Commissioner of Gazipur at a time BNP is complaining of arrest and harassment of its local leaders and workers by police who are reportedly working for the ruling party mayoral candidate.
BGB Public relations officer Mohsin Reza said its forces have been deployed to assisting the local administration before and after elections.
A total of 11 lakh voters are expected to exercise their franchise in the polls to elect 57 general ward councilors and 19 reserve women seats.
The seven GCC mayor candidates are  Jahangir Alam of Awami League, Hasan Uddin Sarker of BNP, Md Ruhul Amin of Communist Party of Bangladesh, Md Jalal Uddin of Bangladesh Islami Front, Fazlul Haque Minar of IslamiOikkya Jote, Md Nasir Uddin of IslamiAndolan Bangladesh and independent candidate Farid Ahmed.
Gazipur City Corporation is going to be a real challenge for ruling Awami League to win victory , while BNP is facing to hold the ground.
The EC facing the biggest credibility crisis in the situation.
"It is real challenge for the three key players. But it is more significant for the EC    and the government as well as the AL, because both the government and the EC need to prove their transparency and capabilities to hold a free, fair and acceptable election," Professor Dr. Sharif Uddin of Jahangir Nagar University told The New Nation on Sunday.
Dr. Sharif Uddin, a Political analyst, said the BNP has a challenge to bring their activists and supporters in vote centers and to prove their popularity ahead of the next general election.
The city election is taking place some five to six months before the Parliamentary polls. A total of 11 lakh voters are expected to cast their votes in the polls to elect 57 general ward councilors and 19 women councilors in reserve seats. Both, the Awami League-nominated mayor candidate advocate Mohammad Jahangir Alam and BNP mayor aspirant Hasan Uddin Sarkar are hopeful to win.
Jahangir Alam said the people will vote for him for the sake of development. On the other hand Hasan Uddin Sarkar said the government is hatching conspiracy to rig vote as done in Khulna.
He said the government filed huge cases against our party men including our polling agents. The police arrested a large number of our party men including our enlisted polling agents. In this situation it is really challenge to bring our supporters in vote centers without proper atmosphere. If the people are able to reach polling centers, they will vote for the BNP.
When contacted, BNP Standing Committee Member Mirza Abbas told The New Nation on Sunday, "The administration and the EC are doing everything for the ruling AL. Police frequently are arresting BNP men and chasing them in their home so that they leave the area before election . In these circumstances it is a serious challenge for us to bring our party men in polls centers."
He asked the administration as well the EC to play a neutral role to ensure peoples' voting right.
The experts said the AL has great challenge in the polls as it has formed the government. It has extra challenge of avoiding misuse of state power in order to create a clean image which is very urgent for them right now.
They also said if the EC fails to conduct acceptable polls in this city, their morality will be questionable.
When contacted, Badiul Alam Majumder, the Secretary General of Sushashoner Jonno Nagorik-Sujan, a campaigner for good governance, told The New Nation, the EC needs to restore its past image of holding a fair election.  He said the KCC election was fraught with serious irregulaities. The EC should take strict measures to prevent such things in GCC polls," said Badiul Alam Majumder.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan on Sunday said the GCC polls atmosphere is very good.
He said the EC will take necessary measures to hold the election acceptable.  The minister said it while talking to journalists after the signing ceremony of the Annual Performance Agreement of Public Safety Division at the Bangladesh Secretariat.
BSS adds: Meanwhile, all types of electoral campaign of Gazipur City Corporation (GCC) polls is scheduled to end from last mid night as the election is scheduled to be held on June 26.
Gazipur Election Returning Officer Raqib Uddin Mandol told the media about deployment of 29-platoon of BGB (Border Guard Bangladesh) in Gazipur city ahead of the polls.
The BGBs were deployed at different parts of the city this morning toavert any untoward incident, he said.
He said, along with BGB, 600 members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), 6,000 members of police and 7,000 members of Ansar and APBN will remaindeployed in the city.
Raqib said the Election Commission (EC) has asked the outsiders to leave the city area on Saturday midnight.
The returning officer said the main reason to deploy a huge number of law enforcers is to hold the polls in a free, fair and peaceful manner. The voting will be held at 425 polling centers, he added.
A total of seven candidates are contesting for the post of mayor. Besides, a total of 254 candidates are contesting for councilor posts at 57 general wards and 84 women candidates for 19 reserve seats.
A total of 11 lakh voters are expected to cast their votes in the upcoming polls.
The seven GCC mayoral candidates are - Jahangir Alam of Awami League, Hasan Uddin Sarker of BNP, Md Ruhul Amin of Communist Party of Bangladesh, Md Jalal Uddin of Bangladesh Islami Front, Fazlul Haque Minar of IslamiOikkyaJote, Md Nasir Uddin of IslamiAndolan Bangladesh and independent candidate Farid Ahmed.
Earlier, the GCC polls were scheduled to be held on May 15. However, the High Court stayed it.
Later, the Appellate Division reviewed the High Court order and asked the Election Commission to hold the Gazipur City Corporation (GCC) Election within June 28.

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