With the deadline for election campaign ending on January 30 midnight, Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh, Awami League’s mayor candidate in Dhaka South City Corporation polls, passed a hectic day yesterday trying to woo voters in different areas of Old Dhaka.
Flanked by several hundred supporters, the AL leader carried out electioneering for more than seven hours after starting from Babu Bazar Bridge area around 2:30pm.
On the 16th day of his campaign, he went to roads and alleys in Islampur, Babu Bazar, Nawabpur, Sadarghat, Waise Ghat, Bangshal, Shakharibazar, and Tantibazar areas. He sought people’s blessings and assured them of resolving their problems, if they voted for him.
These areas fall under ward numbers 32, 34, 36 and 37.
Meanwhile, the campaign caused traffic jam in the areas and many city dwellers expressed their annoyance for being stuck on the road for hours.
This correspondent followed the campaign procession for three hours.
Although Taposh was scheduled to reach Babu Bazar area at noon, he appeared there around 2:30pm riding an SUV, accompanied by a police van.
His motorcade was welcomed by several hundred AL men who chanted slogans seeking blessings and votes.
Songs played by multiple loudspeakers caused nuisance in the area.
Addressing a brief rally on Akmal Khan Road in Babu Bazar Bridge area, Taposh pledged to ensure civic services in DSCC area in 90 days after being elected to the mayor post.
Taposh, who resigned as the Dhaka-10 lawmaker to run for the mayor, said if he was elected, the DSCC door would remain open round the clock to provide services to city dwellers.
The Supreme Court lawyer also said he would mainly work to protect the heritage of Dhaka, make the capital beautiful, and ensure good governance and development in the city.
“I have a 30-year plan to make the Dhaka South City Corporation areas beautiful and more liveable,” he said amid clapping of his supporters.
“The heritage and pride of Dhaka has faded. I want to present Dhaka before the world after reviving the pride and heritage,” he said.
Criticising his rival candidate from the BNP Ishraque Hossain, Taposh claimed the BNP leader was not actively participating in electioneering.
“Instead of going from door to door, my counterpart is busy bringing different allegations against me. Although it is a city corporation election, they are doing politics over national issues,” he said.
“But we are busy making plans to develop areas under Dhaka South City Corporation.”
After the rally, Taposh along with several hundred AL men and his supporters started visiting different shops and markets in Old Dhaka.
He walked for around two-and-a-half kilometres and been to roads and alleys in Babu Bazar, Nayabazar, Islampur Road area, Ahsanullah Road, Simpson Road, and Waise Ghat. He reached Sadarghat area around 4:15pm.
Following Asr prayers, Taposh resumed the electioneering at Sadarghat and its surrounding areas. After Maghrib prayers, he visited different areas of Bangshal.
He campaigned in Nawabpur area around 8:00pm.
Later around 9:00pm, the mayor candidate attended a views-exchange meeting organised by Dhaka Samity. He then met eight MPs elected from the DSCC areas at the residence of senior AL leader Amir Hossain Amu, chief coordinator of Taposh’s election campaign.
The elections to the Dhaka south and north city corporations are scheduled to take place on February 1.