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9 December, 2016 00:00 00 AM
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BNP goes all-out to win NCC elections

RAFIQUL ISLAM AZAD

The BNP is pooling all its resources and focusing on the Narayanganj City Corporation (NCC) elections. Central leaders of the party and its alliance partners will begin campaigning in favour of the BNP-nominated mayoral candidate. A central team of the BNP and the 20-Party Alliance, led by party secretary general, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, will visit Narayanganj on December 10. It will take part in the mass contact programme ahead of the polls slated for December 22, according to BNP sources.
BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia is likely to take part in the campaigning in the middle of this month, to drum up public support in favour of the ‘sheaf of paddy’, the election symbol of the BNP. The schedule for her visit is yet to be finalised, said the sources. “She (Khaleda) is likely to visit Narayanganj and take part in the campaigning sometime next week,” said a senior leader.
Talking to The Independent, party leaders expressed confidence that their candidate, Advocate Sakhawat Hossain Khan, will win, if it is held in a free, fair and impartial manner.
The leaders, however, see participation of the party in the polls as a success for the party, whether its mayoral candidate is elected as the city father or not.
If the BNP candidate wins, the ruling party would be on the back-foot and lose its popularity, while the BNP rank and file would be rejuvenated by the victory, said party leaders.
On the other hand, the leaders said if the BNP candidate is denied victory by a farcical election like the previous one, the party would have an opportunity to organise a movement afresh to secure its demand for an independent and acceptable Election Commission (EC) and an impartial poll-time administration.
BNP standing committee member, Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, said by participating in the NCC polls, the BNP would get all benefits, no matter what the outcome is. “The party will benefit if our candidate wins, but we will get several benefits if victory is snatched by manipulating the polls,” he said.
The leader, however, did not explain the benefits that he expects the party would get by losing the polls. The former minister does not think that the polls are a challenge for the BNP. Rather, he said it is a challenge for the government and the EC. “It is a challenge for the government and the EC to show whether they can hold a free and fair election, just before the tenure of the controversial EC ends in February,” he added.
He expressed his hope that the BNP candidate would win by a huge margin if the polls were held in a free and fair manner. Vice-chairman Maj. (retd) Hafizuddin Ahmed said the Narayanganj residents would cast their votes in favour of the ‘sheaf of paddy’ if they get a change to exercise their franchise.
“The people will cast their votes against the misdeeds of the government, as they did during the previous five city polls despite the ruling party having put up efficient candidates,” he said.
He claimed that the former Narayanganj city mayor, Selina Hayat Ivy, who is this time contesting the polls as the ruling party candidate, was elected by votes from BNP supporters, defeating then ruling party candidate, Shamim Osman. “If the elections are held in a free and fair manner, you (journalists) will be able to see as to how many votes she receives,” he added. The former minister apprehended that the government would not agree to deploy the Army during the NCC polls citing the Constitution, even if the EC requests the government for such deployment. He warned that they would have no alternative to taking to the streets with the people if the government and the EC try to hold farcical polls.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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