BNP picks Tabith, Ishraq for DCC mayoral polls
The BNP yesterday announced its mayoral candidates for the January 30 Dhaka city polls while the ruling Awami League said it would name its nominees today.
The BNP picked Tabith Awal and Ishraq Hossain to run for mayor of Dhaka north and south city corporations respectively.
The AL nomination board for local government polls held a meeting at the Gono Bhaban yesterday to choose its candidates.
Speaking to journalists later, AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader said they finalised two mayoral candidates and would announce their names today.
A total of 12 Dhaka North City Corporation mayor hopefuls had bought AL nomination forms.
Besides, eight had bought the party’s nomination forms for the mayoral polls to Dhaka South City Corporation. They include DSCC Mayor Sayeed Khokon, lawmakers Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh and Haji Md Salim, and Nazibullah Hiru.
Party sources said DNCC Mayor M Atiqul Islam is likely to get the AL ticket. However, the party is likely to pick a new mayor candidate for DSCC.
FAKHRUL NAMES CANDIDATES
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir announced the mayoral candidates at the party chairperson’s Gulshan office yesterday.
The announcement followed a meeting of the party standing committee. Earlier, the BNP interviewed the nomination seekers for selecting its candidates.
“In Dhaka south, one mayoral aspirant collected party nomination form. He is Ishraq Hossain. He is educated and acceptable [to people]. Many people like him,” Fakhrul said.
Ishraq, 32, is going to contest an election for the first time.
Son of late Dhaka mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka, Ishraq had collected nomination form for contesting the December 30 parliamentary election last year from Dhaka-6. But he backtracked on his decision as the BNP supported a leader of Jatiya Oikyafront in the constituency.
Apart from Tabith, BNP Special Secretary Asaduzzaman Ripon had collected party nomination form for contesting the January 30 mayoral polls.
Fakhrul said, “Asaduzzaman Ripon is a tested leader. He has been with us from the very beginning of the party. Tabith Awal’s acceptability to the young generation is huge. We think Tabith can play a crucial role in development activities of the city corporation.”
Mentioning that the upcoming city polls would “not be free and fair”, Fakhrul said, “Even after that, we are participating in the election as we believe in democracy.”
Tabith, son of BNP leader Abdul Awal Mintoo, ran for DNCC mayor in 2015. The party boycotted that election halfway through election day, raising allegations of widespread vote rigging and ballot stuffing.
The 40-year-old BNP nominee holds a post-graduate degree from George Washington University.
Speaking to The Daily Star after winning the BNP ticket, Tabith said, “I am thankful to BNP for keeping faith in me once again. I will continue to be a part of the struggle for restoring democracy in the country.”
He said, “Unfortunately, Dhaka is one of the worst cities in the world. Time has come to be united for making the city liveable for us and our children.”
Talking to this correspondent, Ishraq said, “I would have been happy had my father seen me contesting the election and if I could receive the nomination form from party Chairperson Khaleda Zia.”
He said he would follow the footsteps of his late father to make the city liveable.
The January 30 polls to two mayoral posts will be held on partisan lines while the elections to councillor posts will be non-partisan.
The BNP had boycotted the January 5, 2014, general election, but it took part in the Dhaka city polls the following year.
The party rejected the results of last year’s general election, alleging vote rigging. It stayed away from the DNCC mayoral by-election in March this year.