Shamim, Ivy stay firm | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 12, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 12, 2011

Shamim, Ivy stay firm

Nomination withdrawal in N'ganj city polls enters last day

Neither Shamim Osman nor Selina Hayat Ivy, the two mayoral hopefuls from the Awami League in the Narayanganj City Corporation election, showed any sign of quitting the race yesterday.
Today is the last day for withdrawing candidacy.
Talking to The Daily Star last night, supporters of both Shamim and Ivy said they wanted their candidate to run in the election irrespective of whether or not the party supported them.
“I won't back away from the polls,” said a clearly determined Ivy. “I've decided to work for the welfare of the people and I have come a long way with this election.”
No comments could be elicited from Shamim Osman as he did not pick up his phone. There were certainly no reports of his stepping aside in favour of Ivy.
Against this backdrop, Prime Minister and AL President Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her party would observe the situation till the last minute.
She made the comment to two Narayanganj lawmakers -- Abdullah-Al-Kaisar and Nazrul Islam Babu -- whom she had called to her Gono Bhaban residence last night to discuss the matter.
“During the 30-minute meeting Netri [Hasina] talked about the Narayanganj polls and told us that if Shamim Osman and Selina Hayat failed to reach an agreement, both of them would be free to contest the election. In the event, the party would neither support any one of them nor put pressure on either to withdraw from the race,” Kaisar told The Daily Star.
The dilemma created over the party position regarding the candidates has deepened confusion and frustration among the local AL rank and file in both camps ahead of the October 30 election to the newly-formed city corporation.
Not even the several attempts made by Prime Minister and AL President Sheikh Hasina to resolve the matter have worked, as neither of the two candidates has so far agreed to pull out of the race.
With the AL still undecided about whom to support at the election, the BNP-backed mayoral aspirant Taimur Alam Khandoker was conducting his campaign in full swing yesterday.
Local leaders of the ruling party, however, were hopeful that there would be a last-minute breakthrough in dealing with the crisis.
Asked about the possibility of the party backing any of the two candidates, AL Joint General Secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif was quite emphatic in his observation of the situation. “Even after a third initiative by the prime minister”, he said, “they [the candidates] could not come to an agreement.”
If neither of them quits the race by today, the party will not extend its support to any of the two, he said. He went on to add that the Awami League would not exert any pressure on Shamim Osman or Selina Hayat Ivy to withdraw from the election.
Party chief Sheikh Hasina has held two meetings with Ivy and Shamim in her efforts to convince one of them to step aside.
At a meeting between Hasina and some senior leaders at Gono Bhaban on Sunday, the party “unofficially decided” to back Ivy in the polls. As a “reward” for pulling out, said party sources, Shamim would be offered posts in the party and government.
The move fell flat, however, as Shamim, a former AL lawmaker who now holds no party post, reportedly refused to accept those “rewards”.

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