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Gazipur city polls: AL celebrates victory, BNP disappointed

  • Published at 08:56 pm June 27th, 2018
  • Last updated at 09:49 pm June 27th, 2018
The mayor-elect of Gazipur City Corporation Jahangir Alam shows victory sign while casting his ballot during the city corporation election, which took place on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Awami League mayoral candidate Jahangir Alam won the election, bagging 400,010 votes at 416 of the 425 centres, while his nearest rival BNP candidate, Hasan Uddin Sarker, got 197,611 votes

Thousands of Awami League leaders and activists are celebrating a much-anticipated victory in the Gazipur City Corporation election, while disappointed Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) activists have rejected the poll results, claiming it was pre-determined. 

Realizing the landslide boat victory, local Awami League leaders and activists started thronging Jahangir’s residence in the Hurricane area near the Dhaka-Mymensingh Highway on Tuesday night. There were several victory rallies brought out by activists in support of Jahangir across the city including Tongi, Board Bazar, Chowrasta, Konabari, Kashimpur, Shalna, Joydebpur, and Pubail.

“I have worked hard for a long time and gone from door to door seeking votes. This victory has assigned me great responsibilities and I have to reach every single man and woman to fulfil those. I am seeking blessings and support from people on all sides,” Jahangir said in his reaction after the triumph.

“I am so thankful to the residents of Gazipur that they thought I am capable of fulfilling their expectations. I vow to complete my tasks with honesty, competence, and in line with my ideology,” he said on Wednesday at the returning officer’s station at Shaheed Bangataz Auditorium after the results were declared.

Tongi Government College Chhatra League President, Kazi Monzu, said that the victory was the fruit of their hard work, and their party men along with their followers, were very happy to see Jahangir as the second Gazipur mayor.

“I believe the winning streak of Awami League will continue in the upcoming National Parliament elections,” he said. 

Hasan Uddin Sarker, the BNP candidate of Gazipur City Corporation election, holds a press conference during the balloting hours to express his dissatisfaction over the Election Commission's role in conducting the polls on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 | Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Meanwhile, BNP candidate Hasan Uddin Sarker complained that the EC and the administration were working in favour of the ruling party candidate. He alleged that BNP's polling agents were kicked out from voting centres, and leaders and activists were harassed and arrested, violating the High Court’s directive. 

“Our polling agents were kicked out, our supporters harassed and threatened by Awami League goons. Our party men were arrested by law enforcement agencies. The High Court has issued an order not to harass or arrest BNP activists but the authorities continued their tyranny,” Hasan said.

“The EC has failed to keep its pledge to create a level playing field for all and hold a fair election. The chief election commissioner (CEC) should resign from his post immediately,” the BNP candidate said.  

On Wednesday morning, BNP officially rejected the election result and demanded the EC cancel the result and hold the election again.

“The government has again proved that they do not believe in democracy. In order to grab power, Awami League has shamelessly destroyed the election system,” BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said at a press conference at the party chairperson’s Gulshan office.

However, the BNP leader said that his party would take part in Sylhet, Barisal, and Rajshahi city corporation elections in order to show the autocratic image of the government. 

Seeking anonymity, a local BNP activist said that their leaders and activists were disappointed with the election results. 

“It seems that BNP’s politics is finished in Bangladesh and we have to take up Awami League's banner in order to save our hides. Awami League got full support from the EC and law enforcement. BNP could not even grasp the Awami League's techniques in the Gazipur elections,” he told the Dhaka Tribune.

“I am personally disappointed. The future of root level activists is in danger and BNP leaders cannot deny responsibility for their faulty plans,” he added.