Mintoo’s writ rejected, Bnp backing for Mahi looks bright

Mintoo’s writ rejected, Bnp backing for Mahi looks bright

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As the High Court scrapped the last hope of BNP chairperson’s adviser Abdul Awal Mintoo to run the mayoral election for Dhaka North City Corporation yesterday, the prospect of Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh leader Mahi B Chowdhury has become brighter to run with the blessing of BNP-led 20-party alliance, according to BNP sources.
BNP insiders said both party chairperson Khaleda Zia and senior vice chairman Tarique Rahman have indicated their support for Mahi B Chowdhury, son of noted physician and former President Prof Badruddoza Chowdhury.Apart from Mahi, BNP has another option to choose Tabith Awal, son of Mintoo who had also filed nomination as mayoral hopeful but he has already conveyed to the BNP high commend that he is unwilling to contest the mayoral poll as a section of BNP leaders and activists believed that his father’s mistake was intended to pave the way for his son.
Senior party leaders further said that with cancellation of Mintoo’s nomination paper they are considering Mahi B Chowdhury, joint secretary of Bikalpa Dhara, to back in the DNCC poll as a suitable candidate.
A senior BNP leader hinted that Mintoo may go to the Appellate Division in his desperate attempt to overturn the High Court decision to uphold the EC’s earlier decision to reject his nomination paper.
A senior pro-BNP lawyer said Mintoo should not go for further legal action to change the HC decision as there is a remote possibility to change the decision.
A High Court bench yesterday upheld Dhaka divisional commissioner’s order rejecting the appeal of BNP backed heavyweight candidate Mintoo challenging the Returning Officer’s decision to cancel his nomination.
The HC order means that the BNP chief’s adviser has no chance left to run the race leaving BNP in a tricky situation over backing candidate and win the DNCC mayoral post.
Earlier Khaleda Zia had pinned high hopes on Mintoo as she believed Mintoo who had long cherished to become Dhaka city mayor, would bag the mayoral post defeating Annisul Huq, Awami League’s mayoral favourite.
A close source to the BNP senior vice-chairman said, he (Tarique) now plans to back Mahi as a young politician and who is also capable to attract young voters and dominate the city poll.
The support to Mahi will also give a message to young generation that BNP believes in new and young leadership.”
Insiders also said the party high-ups think that through backing Mahi the BNP would be able to reduce its gap with different pro-nationalist dignitaries including Badruddoza Chowdhury who was forced to resign from the President post.
The pro-BNP professional group under the banner of “Committee to make Dhaka a liveable city” is most likely to come up with the announcement soon.
The BNP leadership also wants to forget their overlong personal conflict that ensued through Mahi’s welcoming the then opposition leader Sheikh Hasina while her motorcade was crossing over Munshiganj district, in 2003.
However, the BNP has already found its going easy with Dhaka South City Corporation mayoral polls lending its blessing to party standing committee member Mirza Abbas.
BNP standing committee member Lt Gen (Retd) Mahbubur Rahman termed Mahi as a suitable candidate and said the party might consider backing him.
“We will be waiting for the outcome of Mintoo final appeal before eth apex court but if he fails we will go for our next option to choose from two available candidates” he added.
He said the party would take decision in this regard within a day or two.
BNP chairperson’s adviser Advocate Khandaker Mahbub Hossain said there is a positive indication to back Mahi B Chowdhury as a 20-party candidate in absence of Mintoo, who has been groomed as a candidate for a long time.
“Whoever will be given support by the 20-party alliance will win the mayoral election since the countrymen have become fed up with the misrule of the government. The city dwellers could not exercise their franchise in January 5 poll and they will manifest their annoy7nce in the April 28 city polls,” he added. = Staff Reporter

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