According to locals, wards 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30 are known as pro-jamaat zone, which helped BNP’s Bulbul to win last election
Jammat-e-Islami, a member of BNP-led 20-party alliance, has a vote bank in Rajshahi, but the party is yet to join forces with the BNP in order to help the mayoral candidate win the Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) election.
Local BNP leaders said they held two meetings with the Jamaat leaders to involve them in the campaigning, but got no response.
According to Jamaat sources, they wanted at least one seat for the upcoming national election, slated for December.
“But the BNP leaders do not want to leave any seat in Rajshahi district for their key ally,” a local Jamaat leader said seeking anonymity.
Both BNP and Jamaat leaders said Jamaat sought Rajshahi-1 (Tanore-Godagari) or Rajshahi-3 (Poba-Mohanpur) constituency for the national polls.
But BNP refused the jamaat’s proposal.
BNP Standing Committee Member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy said: “Jamaat will campaign for the mayoral candidate on Wednesday (July 25).”
But no Jamaat leader was seen campaigning for BNP until 7pm on Saturday, only five hours left to end the campaign.
The campaign ends Saturday midnight.
Senior Jamaat leaders declined to comment on the matter.
However, Jamaat councilor candidate for ward 30 Abdus Samad described the issue differently.
He said this is not true that the Jamaat is not campaigning for BNP. “We could not join the campaign because of law enforcers. But we will vote for the alliance candidate.”
Tofazzal Hossain Tapu, chief election agent of BNP candidate Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul, said: “Had Jamaat campaigned for us, police would have arrested us. We could not continue campaign.
“So it is a technical issue,” he added.
Awami League mayoral candidate Khairuzzaman Liton said: “Nobody worked for Bulbul because they already assumed that we have a spontaneous support from the people.”
Jamaat did not nominate anyone for mayoral post, but their 14 local leaders are contesting for general councillor posts in 30 wards, and they have three female councillor candidates.
According to locals, wards 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30 are known as pro-jamaat zone, which helped BNP’s Bulbul to win last election.
But now Awami League has put a huge effort to get supports of voters in areas like Motihar, Binodpur, Meherchandi, Dasmari, bodpara, Kharkari, Kajla.