Gazipur City Polls: AL faction may rally behind Zahangir’s mother
The Awami League mayor candidate in the May 25 Gazipur city polls, Azamat Ullah Khan, will not have to face any party rebels as the lone dissident runner withdrew yesterday.
"Abdullah Al Mamun is the only mayor aspirant who has withdrawn his candidature. Besides, 36 councillor hopefuls have also withdrawn," Assistant Returning Officer AHM Kamrul Hasan told reporters on the last day for withdrawing candidature.
Mamun is a former member of the AL's forest and environment affairs sub-committee.
However, suspended Gazipur mayor Zahangir Alam's mother Zaida Khatun is taking part in the mayoral polls as an independent. Zahangir has already started contacting voters seeking their blessings for his mother.
Zaida will have support from a faction of the AL which may make it difficult for Azamat Ullah to win, said some local leaders of the ruling party.
The EC is scheduled to allot the electoral symbols to the candidates today.
Meanwhile, the High Court yesterday upheld the Election Commission's decision to cancel the nomination of Zahangir.
A total of eight candidates, including a pro-BNP man and three independents, are running.
Besides, 239 candidates will vie for the posts of 57 councillors in as many wards of Gazipur City Corporation. A total of 77 candidates will run for councillor posts reserved for women, the assistant returning officer said yesterday.
At least 136 councillor aspirants are from the AL and 29 leaders of the BNP and its associate bodies are also running ignoring the party's decision of boycotting the polls.
Instead of backing a single candidate in a particular ward, the Gazipur AL has decided to keep the councillor races open for all, Asadur Rahman Kiran, acting mayor of Gazipur and also a former vice president of Gazipur city AL, told The Daily Star.
Sarkar Shahnur Islam, a nephew of BNP central executive committee member Hasan Uddin Sarkar, has already started seeking blessings from city dwellers as an independent mayor candidate.
The BNP, however, decided to go tough against its leaders and activists who are taking part in the city polls violating the party's decision.
Asked about his nephew's participation in the election, Hasan Uddin said, "No one can go against the party's decision."
Speaking to The Daily Star last night, Abdullah Al Mamun said he withdrew considering the interest of the party and the future of his political career.
HC REJECTS ZAHAGIR'S PETITION
Yesterday, the HC bench of Justice Farah Mahbub and Justice Muhammad Mahbub Ul Islam summarily rejected a writ petition filed by Zahangir challenging the legality of the EC's decision.
Zahangir later told journalists that he would appeal to the Appellate Division.
The HC in the order said Zahangir was a loan defaulter at the time of the submission of his nomination paper.
During the hearing on the writ petition, the HC bench said the aspirant candidates should clear possible issues that may create problems in becoming valid candidates at least three months before the elections.
All candidates know very well what can cause problems, the bench said.
The court made the comments after Zahangir's principal lawyer Fida M Kamal argued that his client was not a loan defaulter as he has paid off his loans.
Our Gazipur correspondent contributed to this report.