Ending all speculations, the Awami League yesterday picked party leader Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh for contesting the January 30 mayoral polls in Dhaka South City Corporation.
The ruling party chose incumbent Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor M Atiqul Islam as its candidate for the DNCC mayoral election.
AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader announced this at a press conference at the party president’s Dhanmondi office.
He also gave the names of the party-backed councillor candidates for the polls in the two city corporations.
The party lent its support to 54 ward councillor candidates in the DNCC and 75 in the DSCC.
The Jatiya Party, the main opposition in parliament, picked Brig Gen (retd) Kamrul Islam, a newcomer in the party, as its mayoral candidate in the DNCC and Haji Saifuddin Ahmed Milan, a Dhaka-based businessman, in the DSCC.
Kamrul joined the JP following the Election Commission’s announcement of the polls schedule on December 22, JP insiders said.
Earlier on Saturday, the BNP nominated Tabith Awal, a sports organiser and son of party leader Abdul Awal Mintoo, and Ishraq Hossain, son of former Dhaka city mayor and BNP leader late Sadeque Hossain Khoka, to run for mayors of Dhaka north and south city corporations.
Talking to this newspaper, several AL leaders said incumbent DSCC Mayor Sayeed Khokon failed to live up to the expectations of the party high command.
They also mentioned Khokon’s poor handling of the dengue menace.
On Saturday evening, the AL Local Government Nomination Board sat at the Gono Bhaban with Prime Minister and AL President Sheikh Hasina in the chair to pick the party candidates for the January 30 polls.
Talking to reporters yesterday, Taposh, who resigned as Dhaka-10 lawmaker to contest the mayoral polls, said the PM has been working relentlessly to build a developed Bangladesh. And for that, a developed capital is needed.
“I want to take the opportunity to contribute to this.”
Seeking cooperation from Khokon, the AL leader said if he gets elected, he will work together with Khokon and the DNCC mayor to build a “new Dhaka”.
Mentioning former DNCC Mayor Annisul Huq as his source of inspiration, Taposh said, “I hope the people in Dhaka South City Corporation will keep their trust in me and give me a chance to serve them.”
The AL leader further said if he is elected DSCC mayor, a master plan will be formulated for the city’s development in line with the Vision 2041.
Since the city’s population has increased over the years, its residents are not getting the expected services from the city corporations, he noted.
The PM split the city into two independent city corporations, taking these problems into account, Taposh said.
“I have decided to contest the city polls with the aim of resolving these problems.”
Atiqul also sought cooperation from all in building a better Dhaka city.