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Dhaka Tribune

Only 1 woman among all mayoral candidates

Update : 11 Dec 2015, 06:47 PM

The only female mayoral candidate in Sirajganj, Ashanur Biswas – the wife of former fisheries minister Abdul Latif Biswas – is set to contest for the mayor’s seat in Belkuchi municipality.

A two-time elected union parishad chairman from Doulatpur, Ashanur is also the vice-president of Belkuchi upazila Awami League. She will run against upazila BNP President Jamal Uddin Bhuiya, Jamaat’s Abdur Razzak Miah, and Islami Andolon leader Rezaul Karim in the December 30 election.

Although there are four aspirants for the mayor’s office, locals say they expect the main contest to be between the two candidates nominated by the Awami League and the BNP.

“I was nominated [by the ruling party] as the single candidate in Belkuchi because of my image in the area. The locals love me irrespective of their political allegiance,” said 45-year-old Ashanur.

“If elected, I will work to solve the traffic jam in Mukundagati Bazar, improve the sewer infrastructure, and ensure healthcare for the grassroots. I also plan to set up a school for the specially-abled children to educate and train them so they can join the workforce,” the Awami League candidate added. 

However, BNP leader Jamal Uddin Bhuiya said the people would cast their ballots for the BNP if a free and fair election is held.

On another note, he criticised the Election Commission’s restrictions against unauthorised meetings on front yards or inside a house.

The ruling party leaders were flouting the EC decision and holding unauthorised meetings as per their will, but the opposition leaders were being disallowed from holding any such meetings, Jamal said. So there is no level playing field, he added.

Founded in 2004, the Belkuchi municipality has over 46,000 voters. After being run by an administrator for the first six years, Awami League leader Alhaj Mofiz Uddin was elected the first mayor of Belkuchi in 2010. 

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