Gazi quits but consensus still far away in AL | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 10, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, July 10, 2008

Sylhet City Corporation Polls

Gazi quits but consensus still far away in AL


Dewan Farid Gazi

In a dramatic move, Awami League Presidium member Dewan Farid Gazi yesterday afternoon withdrew his candidature from the mayoral race in Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) polls.
He was the second among seven AL leaders who submitted nomination papers.
Earlier on Tuesday, district AL secretary Iftekhar Hossain Shamim withdrew his nomination.
With their withdrawal, five persons are there from AL in the mayoral race. They are, incumbent mayor Badar Udin Ahmed Kamran, former lawmaker Inamul Haque Chowdhury Bir Protik, former Sylhet Pourashava chairman Babrul Hossain Babul, city AL secretary Misbah Uddin Siraj and district AL vice-president Abduj Jahir Chowdhury Sufian.
Nineteen people from different parties and individuals are still in the mayoral run.
Sudden withdrawal by AL's senior most man in Sylhet, Dewan Farid Gazi, raised questions in the party rank and file.
Also a former state minister, Gazi filed his nomination following pressure from AMA Muhit, another AL Presidium member and some others in the party without consulting central leaders, sources told this correspondent.
They somehow convinced Gazi on the plea of a vacuum in absence of incumbent mayor and city AL chief Kamran, who is detained.
With a signal for Kamran from central leadership yesterday, things changed and Gazi took the decision to quit, the sources claimed. Bureaucrat turned politician Muhit reached Sylhet from the capital yesterday morning.
“Considering the present political situation in the country, I withdrew from the election race”, Gazi said.
“However, I will remain with the party's decision for any candidate”, he added.'
With the withdrawal of two AL aspirants, Kamran will have a better position. But Babul a heavyweight in the district AL, is yet in the race, a number of party men said.
Babul was elected chairman of the then Sylhet pourashava twice and became chairman of Sadar Upazila Parishad once. Former district Muktijoddha Ssangsad chief Inamul Haque Chowdhury Bir Pprotik has already hinted that he would not support any corrupt man.
However, district AL president ANM Shafique told the Daily Star, “The 14 party alliance will sit in the capital today to reach a decision for a single candidate for SCC polls. After that we will request others to quit”.
A number of mid level AL said many party men and supporters will be in a dilemma for want of a single candidate.
Internal feud in AL surfaced at the extended meeting of city AL on 31 June when many leaders demanded scrapping of the city committee, which is functioning as an adhoc one for three years.

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