Sharfuddin Ahmed Jhantu, the incumbent mayor of Rangpur city, is being backed by Awami League in the upcoming city corporation polls. He also happens to be the first mayor of Rangpur City Corporation. After being nominated by the ruling party, he spoke to the Bangla Tribune to discuss various issues.
What are you feelings after being nominated?
Sheikh Hasina has placed an enormous burden on my shoulders with the ‘boat’ symbol. This weight shall be lifted the day I return the victorious symbol to her. I am very happy, but I will be able to express my joy once snatch victory for Awami league.
How confident are you about victory?
A candidate is always confident about victory. But until I assure total victory for Awami League, I cannot be specific.
Do you think you can tackle the factionalism in Rangpur over the nominations before the polls?
Yes, I can. Sheikh Hasina picked me for the job. There will be no splinter factions before the polls. The grassroots Awami League are with me 100%. Awami League loyalists will support me, just like they have in the past. Even local leaders and activists have always wanted Awami League to back me. But it is a huge party, and splinter factions are normal in such large parties. But it is the mark of a good leader to be able to combat the factionalism effectively.
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Are you going to work with everyone in the field?
Yes, I will work with everyone – allies and opponents in the party – because I want to be victorious with everyone’s support. I need everyone’s prayers and goodwill with me. I will go from door to door and ask for support. If someone still wants to work against the will of the party, I will inform the leader [Sheikh Hasina].
Rangpur has been historically a Jatiya Party territory, what are your plans for it?
Everyone knows Jatiya Party effectively dominates Rangpur. But, I will build an Awami League stronghold in Jatiya Party territory. I will see Awami League victorious.