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Dhaka Tribune

Ruling party candidates unite for CCC election

Update : 21 Mar 2015, 07:42 PM

The Awami League’s Chittagong unit has become a forerunner in preparing itself for the upcoming city poll on April 28 as two aspirants agreed to extend their support to the one nominated by the party.

HM Ershad-backed Jatiya Party and Khaleda Zia’s BNP, on the other hand, are yet to choose their candidates for the mayoral post – now occupied by BNP-backed M Manjur Alam.

The ruling party on Friday night nominated AJM Nasir Uddin as its mayoral candidate after a meeting, headed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, at Ganabhaban. Nasir is the general Secretary of AL’s Chittagong city unit. He is also the vice-president of Bangladesh Cricket Board and general secretary of Chittagong District Sports Council.

City unit President ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury, who was elected CCC mayor for three consecutive terms, and Treasurer Abdus Salam, also chairman of Chittagong Development Authority, earlier wanted to vie for the mayoral post.

Mohiuddin wanted to take part in the election as a rebel candidate – under the banner of Nagorik Oikyo Committee, even if he failed to get party ticket. But he has stepped back. Following the party chief’s decision, he now vows to work for Nasir.

“Nasir is potential and young politician in the port city. Our leader chose him as he proved his capability for the task. We will arrange a press conference within a day or two and declare our next programmes,” the veteran leader told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday.

Salam said: “Everyone should follow the decision of the central committee.” All the leaders and activists would work to implement the high-command’s plan.

Nasir, after visiting the shrine of Shah Amanat yesterday, said he would start campaigns from April 10, according to Election Commission’s instructions.

Both Mohiuddin and Nasir, urging BNP to take part in the election, said they should refrain from subversive political acts and take the chance to test popularity in Chittagong.

But most of the local BNP leaders are now on the run to avoid arrest in cases of violence during the ongoing blockades and hartals. However, the party’s high-command is positive about participating in the election.

The last date for submitting nomination papers is March 29.

Incumbent Mayor Manjur, also an adviser to the BNP chief, did not make any comment on the matter.

On the other hand, city unit President Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury and its General Secretary Dr Shahadat Hossain could not be reached for comments despite repeated attempts.

A senior BNP leader, seeking anonymity, told the Dhaka Tribune that the BNP-backed ward councillors had met with Khasru on Thursday and decided to take part in the election. “But no decision was made about the mayoral candidate,” the leader told the Dhaka Tribune.

On the other hand, two JaPa leaders have expressed interests to contest for the mayoral post. They are Vice-Chairman Morshed Murad Ibrahim and Presidium Member Solaiman Alam Sheth.

Morshed, also the former president of Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said Solaiman promised not to interfere in the city’s political affairs after his suspension from the Presidium body had been withdrawn. “So now he cannot take part in the election.”

Party’s Secretary General Ziauddin Bablu mentioned that Morshed had the possibility to take part in the election.

The candidature would be confirmed in a meeting within tomorrow headed by Ershad, also a special envoy to the premier.

“We have enough time in hand. Now we are working to select the ward councillor candidates,” Bablu told the Dhaka Tribune.

Solaiman, former president of JaPa’s city unit, said: “If I do not get the party’s nomination, I will participate in the election under the banner of Socheton Nagorik Somaj.” 

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