3 reasons why Zaida won Gazipur polls
Development activities carried out by suspended Gazipur mayor Zahangir Alam, his close ties with the local Awami League leaders and activists and the voters' sympathy for him were the main reasons for his mother's victory in the mayoral polls, said voters.
On the other hand, AL candidate Azmat Ullah Khan's poor relations with the grassroots leaders and voters, and the anti-incumbency factor contributed to his defeat, they observed.
Civil society members said although Thursday's city corporation election was peaceful, the voter turnout would have been greater if the stray incidents of violence had not happened during the election campaign.
They said supporters of Azmat had been everywhere in Gazipur city since the electioneering began. They were seen in and outside the polling centres on the voting day.
According to voters, many AL men had no other option but to campaign for the party nominee as Zahangir was expelled from the organisation for "violating party discipline".
The suspended mayor and her mother filed nomination forms as independents. Zahangir started campaigning for his mother after the Election Commission scrapped his nomination.
"Zahangir was expelled from the party, his nomination was cancelled and his motorcade came under attack when he was campaigning for his mother. These incidents aroused public sympathy for him," Anil Chandra Mondal, a valiant freedom fighter and also a teacher in Joydebpur, told The Daily Star.
He said that people were annoyed by Zahangir's removal from the post of mayor.
Anil said the suspended mayor maintained a close relationship with the people from all walks of life, but Azmat was lagging far behind him.
Unofficial results of the mayoral polls show that Zaida, who bagged 2,38,934 votes, defeated Azmat by 16,197 votes.
A Gazipur AL leader said that many party leaders, who were in Azmat's camp, campaigned for Zahangir confidentially.
Shafiqul Islam, a voter in Gazipur city, said that many people wearing AL badges requested people to vote for Zahangir.
"There were many supporters of Zahangir in Azmat's camp," he said.
Mohammad Jalal Uddin, president of Gazipur District Nagorik Forum, said factory workers, who benefited from the activities of the suspended mayor, played a crucial role in deciding the outcome of the polls.
He said Zahangir's development works paid off.
Jalal Uddin said Azmat's campaign turned out to be a show. "His overconfidence is another reason for his defeat."
Another local Awami League leader, wishing not to be named, said Azmat's defeat is a big blow to his political career.
He said when Azmat got the party's backing in the 2013 mayoral polls, Zahangir did not campaign for him. This time, Azmat won the party's ticket, but lost to Zahangir's mother, he added.
Nurul Islam Fakir, a resident of Gazaria Para of Gazipur, said although a few people were unhappy with widening of alleys and construction of new roads in Gazipur city by Zahangir, a large number of people benefitted from those works.