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Dhaka city polls: Six aspirants seek tickets from BNP, AL, JaPa

  • Published at 11:31 pm December 26th, 2019
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From left - Sayeed Khokon, Tabith Awal, Ishraque Hossain and Saif Uddin Milon Collected

They include Sayeed Khokon, Tabith Awal, Ishraque Hossain, Asaduzzaman Ripon and Haji Saifuddin Ahmed Milon

Altogether six high-profile aspirants collected nomination forms from the Awami League, BNP and Jatiya Party on Thursday, aiming to secure their parties’ tickets to run for mayor at the forthcoming elections to the two Dhaka city corporations.

The party nominees must file their formal nomination papers to the Election Commission by December 31, in order to take part in the mayoral race for Dhaka north and Dhaka South city corporations on January 30. 

The Election Commission on Thursday also asked all banks to keep their branches open in areas under the two city corporations today and tomorrow for candidates to be able to deposit money with regard to submission of nomination papers. 

In line with the EC advice, Bangladesh Bank, in a circular later in the day, said all branches of scheduled banks under the city corporations would remain open today and tomorrow. ye

Sayeed Khokon, incumbent mayor of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC), collected the party nomination form from the Awami League president's political office in Dhanmondi on Thursday . 

Talking to reporters later, he claimed that he had never neglected his duties as mayor. 

“I have done many things in the last five years, but some work is still pending. If re-elected, I plan to complete all of them,” he said. 

Referring to Prime Minister and ruling party chief Sheikh Hasina as his guardian, Sayeed added: “She [Hasina] will do what she thinks best. I will accept whatever her decision is.” 

The ruling party began sales of nomination forms on Wednesday, and will continue till 5pm today. 

So far, Dhaka 10 MP Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh, Dhaka 7 lawmaker Haji Md Salim and incumbent Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Mayor Atiqul Islam appear to be the most popular faces seeking the Awami League’s ticket to contest in the city polls. 

The party’s General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Thursday reiterated that no controversial candidates would be given nominations by the Awami League.

“Those loved by the people, who are popular and can win will receive the party’s nomination,” he said while at an event in Narayanganj. 

Ishraque, Ripon, Tabith seek BNP ticket 

Meanwhile, three high-profile mayoral aspirants, including the sons of two influential politicians of the BNP, on Thursday collected nomination forms from the party to contest the city polls on its ticket.

BNP Executive Committee member Tabith Awal and former Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal president Asaduzzaman Ripon collected the forms from the party’s Naya Paltan office for the DNCC mayoral race. 

Tabith is the elder son of senior party leader Abdul Awal Mintoo, while Ripon is a special secretary on the BNP Executive Committee. 

Ishraque Hossain, son of late BNP vice-chairman and former mayor of undivided Dhaka City Corporation Sadeque Hossain Khoka, also collected the form to be a candidate for the DSCC mayoral race. 

“If the election is held in a fair manner, people will vote for me,” said Tabith, who contested the last DNCC mayoral polls in 2015. He, however, boycotted the election halfway on polling day, alleging and protesting vote rigging. 

Ishraque told reporters: “The party wants new leadership. Following indications from the top brass, I have been preparing myself for the mayoral race. I am hopeful of getting the party ticket.” 

All three BNP aspirants, however, said that the electronic voting machines (EVMs), which will be used in all polling centres during the mayoral elections, were vulnerable to manipulations. 

The BNP also sold nomination forms to its councillor aspirants for the second day on Thursday .  

Milon seeks JaPa ticket 

Jatiya Party (JaPa) Presidium member Haji Saifuddin Ahmed Milon on Thursday collected the nomination form from the party to contest the DSCC mayoral polls. 

During the 2015 city polls, JaPa had backed Milon as its candidate for the office. 

Another JaPa Presidium member, Alamgir Shikder Loton, also bought a nomination form Thursday  to participate in the polls. 

While distributing nomination forms to the mayor and councillor aspirants at JaPa’s Banani office, party Chairman GM Quader hoped that the city corporation elections would be free and fair. 

He added that JaPa would announce its candidates for the DNCC and DSCC mayoral races by Saturday, and action would be taken against whoever ignored the party decisions and took part in the polls. 

The Community Party of Bangladesh (CPB) also announced Thursday that its Dhaka unit General Secretary Sajedul Haque Rubel would be its nominee for the mayoral race in DNCC while former Bangladesh Chhatra Union president Manobendro Deb would contest for the DSCC mayoral office. 

Meanwhile, leaders of the Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad and Mohanagar Sarbojanin Puja Committee have urged the Election Commission to reschedule the January 30 election date as the Hindu community was set to celebrate Saraswati Puja on the day.