Sources say Awami League will declare Taposh and Atiqul as its candidates on Sunday
BNP on Saturday picked Tabith Awal and Ishraque Hossain as its mayoral candidates for Dhaka’s two city corporation elections slated for January 30.
The party’s Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir announced the candidates after a meeting of their nomination board at the BNP chairperson's Gulshan office in the afternoon.
BNP chose its Executive Committee member Tabith, the eldest son of senior BNP leader Abdul Awal Mintoo, to run for mayor of DNCC.
Also, the party gave the green light to Ishraque, son of late BNP vice-chairman and former mayor of undivided Dhaka City Corporation, Sadeque Hossain Khoka, to run for mayor of DSCC.
“Both of them are highly educated and young. They are popular among young supporters. We believe they will be able to get close to the people and will be accepted by the young generation,” Fakhrul told a press conference.
Meanwhile, BNP’s arch political rival Awami League, has decided to take another day to announce its mayoral candidates.
The ruling party will declare the names of its candidates at the party president’s Dhanmondi political office on Sunday, Secretary General Obaidul Quader told reporters last evening.
After a meeting of the party’s Local Government Nomination Board, chaired by Awami League President Sheikh Hasina at Ganabhaban, Quader said they were taking a little more time to do further evaluations.
However, sources said everything was pretty much decided about Awami League declaring Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh and Atiqul Islam as its mayor candidates for Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) and Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) elections, respectively.
Meanwhile, BNP has formed two separate committees to finalize its councillor candidates for both DNCC and DSCC.
The committees on Sunday will interview the nomination seekers and finalize the candidates.
According to the Election Commission, all mayoral and councillor aspirants of both city corporations will have to submit their nomination papers to the commission by December 31.
The nomination papers will be scrutinized on January 2, while the aspirants will have until January 9 to withdraw their candidature.
AL dropping casino tainted councillors
Awami League sources say the party top brass has decided not to nominate any of the current DNCC and DSCC ward councillors who were involved in the illegal casino business which came to light in September.
After law enforcement agencies started a crackdown that month, the names of a number of leaders of Awami League and its affiliated organizations surfaced for their involvement in the illegal casinos.
As the scandal spread, the ruling party assured the people that it would take action against these leaders, which includes expulsion from the organization and no nomination in local government elections.
20 people — 12 from Dhaka North and eight from Dhaka South — have sought the Awami League ticket to contest the DNCC and DSCC elections as their mayoral candidate.
Those seeking the ticket for the DNCC polls are incumbent Mayor Atiqul Islam, Helena Jahangir, Adam Tamizi Haque, Shahidullah Osmani, Yaad Ali Fakir, Jaman Bhuiyan, Kutubuddin Nannu, Md Idris Ali Molla, Alauddin Mohammad, Zerin Sultana Kanta, Khairul Mazid, and Rehena Farhad Ivy.
The aspirants seeking to contest the DSCC polls are incumbent Mayor Sayeed Khokon, Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh, Haji Md Salim, Nazibullah Hiru, Md Nazmul Haque, MA Rashid, Ashraf Hossain Siddiqui and Haji Abul Hasnat.
Taposh is the current Dhaka 10 MP and Atiqul is the incumbent DNCC mayor.
Sources said the party top brass is likely to field Sheikh Fazle Shams Porosh — elder brother of Taposh and chairman of Awami Jubo League — as the Awami League candidate for the Dhaka 10 constituency, when and if Taposh wins the election and is elected DSCC mayor.
DSCC Mayor Sayeed will not get the party ticket to pursue reelection because of his failure in bringing about positive changes in his area, said sources.
Also, they said widespread criticism from various quarters about Sayeed’s failure in tackling this year’s dengue outbreak also played a role in the top brass’ decision.
Tabith is a graduate of George Washington University in Washington, DC , USA. He also obtained a combined degree in MSc in Information Systems Technology and a BBA in Management Information Systems.
The 40 year old is now the deputy chief executive officer of Multimode Group, his family business.
A former vice president of Bangladesh Football Federation, Tabith entered politics running for mayor in the 2015 DNCC election on BNP’s ticket, against Awami League backed Annisul Huq.
However, Tabith boycotted the elections on the day of voting on April 28, alleging widespread vote rigging.
Ishraque completed his bachelors and masters in mechanical engineering from the University of Hertfordshire in the UK.
He returned to Dhaka in 2015 and since then has been involved in family businesses.
In 2018, BNP had considered fielding him as a candidate for the Dhaka 6 constituency in the 11th general election held on December 30 last year.
But this is the first time Ishraque, who lost his father Sadeque Hossain Khoka in November, is actively joining BNP politics.