Taposh resigns as Dhaka 10 MP, his brother Parash may fill his vacated seat; AL drops 58 ward councillors for ties to illegal casinos, crimes; JaPa picks Kamrul in DNCC, Milon in DSCC as mayoral runners
The Awami League has picked Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh and Atiqul Islam as its mayoral candidates for the elections to Dhaka's two city corporations, slated for January 30.
The ruling party’s General Secretary Obaidul Quader announced their names at the party chief's Dhanmondi political office on Sunday.
Party sources said, this time Awami League did not pick Sayeed Khokon, the incumbent Dhaka South City Corporation mayor, because of his failure to bring positive changes in his area. He also received widespread criticism because of his failure in tackling this year’s dengue outbreak.
Explaining the reasons for choosing Taposh and Atiqul, Quader said they have considered the candidates’ acceptance and popularity among the people and their potential to win the elections.
Atiqul has been serving as mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) since February this year, while Taposh is the outgoing MP from Dhaka 10 constituency, and AL’s other mayoral candidate.
In an instant reaction, both of them expressed gratitude and thanked the Awami League chief and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for choosing them for the mayoral races.
Taposh said he had a master plan to make DSCC areas prosperous and developed by 2041, while Atiqul said he wanted the combined efforts of DNCC and DSCC to make Dhaka city beautiful as a whole.
After receiving the party’s endorsement to run for DSCC mayor, Taposh resigned as the Dhaka 10 MP and Speaker of the parliament, Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, accepted his resignation letter on Sunday, confirmed his Personal Secretary Tarek Shikder.
Later in the evening, the Parliament Secretariat also issued a gazette declaring the seat vacant.
The ruling party is likely to choose his brother Prof Sheikh Fazle Shams Parash, recently elected Awami Jubo League chairman, as the MP candidate in the by-polls to that constituency, said sources.
According to the Election Commission, the mayoral and councillor aspirants of both DNCC and DSCC 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.
Taposh: A three time lawmaker
Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh is the son of Jubo League founder Sheikh Fazlul Haque Moni, who was a nephew of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Taposh is a three time lawmaker for the Dhaka 10 constituency.
His uncle Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim is a member of the Awami League Presidium and the current MP for Gopalganj 2 constituency. Selim is also a former Jubo League chairman.
Atiqul: Businessman turned mayor
Atiqul was backed by Awami League to contest in the by-elections to the DNCC in 2018, after the death of former DNCC mayor Annisul Huq on November 30, 2017, left the post vacant.
Atiqul is a brother to former chief justice Md Tofazzal Islam and former Border Guard Bangladesh director general Moinul Islam.
A former president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Atiqul now heads the Centre of Excellence for Bangladesh Apparel Industries.
58 new ward councillor candidates
The Awami League on Sunday also declared its candidates for the councillor posts in 129 wards under both DSCC and DNCC.
The party picked new candidates in 58 of those wards, said a press release signed by its Office Secretary BIplab Barua, and chose to field 71 current councillors as its candidates.
Sources said the ruling party decided not to nominate incumbent ward councillors who were found to be involved in the recently busted illegal casino businesses and other unlawful practices.
Of those dropped, 25 councillors were from 54 wards under DNCC and 33 were from 75 wards under DSCC.
JaPa picks Kamrul, Milon
Meanwhile, Jatiya Party (JaPa), the main opposition in parliament, on Sunday also announced Brig Gen (retd) Kamrul Islam and Haji Saifuddin Ahmed Milon as its mayoral candidates for the upcoming Dhaka city corporation elections.
JaPa Chairman’s Deputy Press Secretary Delwar Jalali said Kamrul was chosen to run as the DNCC mayor candidate and Milon as the DSCC candidate.
Former army official Kamrul joined JaPa last week while Milon is a former member of the party Presidium, who unsuccessfully contested the 2015 DSCC mayoral polls on the party ticket.