Dhaka North Mayoral race: Atiqul for AL ticket, Tabith lobbies with BNP

Dhaka North Mayoral race: Atiqul for AL ticket, Tabith lobbies with BNP

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Dhaka, Dec 26 – Atiqul Islam, a former president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), has started campaign to contest the forthcoming by-polls to the mayoral post of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) as an Awami League candidate claiming that he has got the party nod.The BNP is following a go-slow policy over the by-polls as the party does not want to disclose the name of its candidate before the announcement of the schedule for strategic reasons.
Talking to the press on Monday, Atiqul said he got the green signal from the top-level of the ruling party to vie for the mayoral post in the by-polls.
He said he has started his campaign in different parts of DNCC since Saturday following the ‘direction of the Awami League high command’.
The Ex-BGMEA president also said he started meeting ruling party MPs in the DNCC areas seeking their cooperation in coming out successful in the by-polls.
Out of eight MPs of the area, Atiqul said, he has already talked to five — AKM Rahmatullah, Advocate Sahara Khatun, Asaduzzaman Khan, Kamal Ahmed Majumder and Aslamul Haque — and “won their support”.
Asked whether he talked to the Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, he declaimed to elaborate.
Atiqul said, he wants to complete the unfinished task of late Mayor Annisul Huq who died at a hospital in London on November 30.
According to the Local Government (City Corporation) Act 2009, the Election Commission also has a legal obligation to complete the by-election within 90 days.
Annisul Huq had been elected the DNCC mayor contesting the DNCC election held on April 28, 2015 with Awami League ticket. He had got 460,000 votes while his nearest contestant and BNP candidate Tabith Awal 325,000 votes.
BNP had boycotted the election halfway through bringing the allegation of various irregularities and vote rigging.
Election Commission sources said the schedule for the polls is likely to be announced in early January.
BNP sources said party is not worried about its candidate as it is almost decided to pick Tabith Awal as its candidate for the by-polls.
Tabith was not available for his comment as he is now in Sweden on a business tour.
BNP vice chairman and Tabith’s father Abdul Awal Mintoo said there has been no serious discussion in the party about the candidate for the by-polls. “As I know, so far, the party has a decision to nominate Tabith as its mayoral candidate again. I also don’t find any reason to change the candidate.”
He said though Tabith boycotted the polls halfway through in 2015 as per the party decision, he got huge votes.
Mintoo said Tabith will return home on Wednesday from Sweden and start campaign if the party high-command gives him the signal.
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said their policymakers decided to join the by-polls and they are working on selecting the party candidate.
Asked whether they are going to install Tabith as the party candidate, he said, they will talk about it in due time.
A BNP standing committee member, wishing anonymity, said their party will talk about its party candidate once the Election Commission announces the schedule for the by-polls.
He, however, said they are working out the election strategies to ensure victory for their mayoral candidate and thus demonstrate its popularity before other city polls and the national election. – UNB

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