Loan defaulter JaPa candidate loses candidature in Barisal, five runners cleared in Rajshahi and parties busy with finalizing battle strategy in Sylhet
The nomination papers of six out of eight mayoral candidates in the Barisal City Corporation election have been cleared by Returning Officer Md Mujibur Rahman.
They are – Awami League’s Serniabad Sadik Abdullah, BNP’s Mojibor Rahman Sarwar, Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal’s Dr Manisha Chakraborty, Communist Party of Bangladesh’s AK Azad, Islami Andolon Bangladesh’s Mawlana Obaidur Rahman Mahbub, and Khelafat Majlish’s Prof AKM Mahbub Alam.
Of the six, four aspirants are joining the fray for the first time. The BNP and CPB candidates had contested for the mayor post in the last city polls.
The candidates’ professions vary from businesses to teachers and doctors, and their educational qualifications vary from self-educated to highest educational degree.
Barisal, along with Sylhet and Rajshahi cities, will go to polls on July 30.
The returning officer on Sunday announced that Jatiya Party candidate Iqbal Hossain Tapos’s nomination was cancelled after he was identified as a loan defaulter by the Bangladesh Bank.
Independent runner Bashir Ahmed Jhunu’s nomination was annulled for naming a fake voter in his supporters’ list, said Mujibur, also the regional election officer.
However, Iqbal claimed he paid off his outstanding loans on Saturday. “Still, what the Election Commission did to me was injustice. I will appeal to the divisional commissioner against this decision,” he said.
Bashir said he would appeal too.
At a glance
Thursday was the last day for submitting nomination papers for this city polls. Starting from Sunday, review of the nomination papers will end on Monday.
By Thursday, eight mayoral runners, 114 general councillor candidates and 38 reserved seat candidates had submitted nomination papers.
Appeals to the divisional commissioner can be filed till Wednesday, July 4. The commissioner then will decide on them in the next three days.
The last date for withdrawal of candidature is July 9. The next day, the returning officer will allot the electoral symbols to the candidates, which would officially kick off the election campaigns.
These procedures and dates are also same for Rajshahi and Sylhet cities.
According to the submitted affidavits, BNP aspirant Mojibor Rahman Sarwar, a four-time MP and the first Barisal city mayor, is the richest and has the highest amount of assets – both movable and immovable.
Among the candidates, he also has the highest number of cases – 12 – against him.
Barisal city currently has 242,166 voters – 121,436 men and 120,730 women – across 30 wards sitting on a 58-square-kilometre area.
Five mayor candidates cleared in Rajshahi
The nomination papers of five mayoral candidates in the Rajshahi City Corporation election were cleared by Returning Officer Syed Amirul Islam on Sunday.
They are – Awami League’s AHM Khairuzzaman Liton, BNP’s Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul, Jatiya Party’s Wasiur Rahman Dolon, Bangladesh Jatiya Party’s Habibur Rahman, and Islami Shashontontro Andolan’s Shafiqul Islam.
Meanwhile, candidature of one aspirant, Murad Morshed, was cancelled for naming a fake voter in his supporter- list, said District Election Officer Atiar Rahman.
Independent runner Murad said he would appeal to the divisional commissioner against the decision.
Rajshahi city currently has 318,138 voters – 156,085 men and 162,053 women – in 30 wards. There will be 137 polling centres across the city during the polls.
Candidates busy making war plan in Sylhet
The nomination papers of 10 general and reserved seat councillor candidates in the Sylhet City Corporation election were cancelled by Returning Officer Md Alimuzzaman on Sunday.
He said the review of the mayoral candidates’ nomination papers and the rest of the councillor aspirants will be completed on Monday.
The mayor runners and their supporters are now busy coming up with strategies to win the hearts of the city’s 321,732 voters – 171,444 men and 150,288 women – in 27 wards.
The leading candidates in this city polls are Awami League’s Badar Uddin Kamran and BNP’s Ariful Haque Chowdhury, who recently resigned from his post as the Sylhet city mayor.
Awami League, Jubo League, Chhatra League and Swechchasebak League are forming separate committees for each of the 134 polling centres, to ensure that Kamran’s supporters can exercise their franchise without any trouble.
However, the candidates of BNP and other parties are yet to share their strategies ahead of the third election to this city corporation.
Even though official campaigning will not begin before July 10, all the candidates have started making unofficial rounds across the city, meeting and greeting the citizens and seeking their support.
Kamran’s son Arman Ahmed Shiplu, along with hundreds of party leaders and activists, had campaigned in the city’s Bandarbazar and Jindabazar areas on Saturday; and his father campaigned in Tilagarh area on Friday after the Jummah prayers.
Meanwhile, Ariful and his supporters are yet to begin their unofficial campaign.
Apart from a meeting of senior BNP leaders, activists and leaders of the party and its affiliate organizations are yet to rally behind Ariful based on any strategy.
BNP leaders said their mass campaign will begin right on time, and they will be alert so that situations like Gazipur and Sylhet do not occur here.