POST TIME: 20 January, 2020 00:00 00 AM
DNCC, DSCC mayoral elections
Aspirants hot on campaign trail
AL mayoral candidates highlight development projects of govt, BNP aspirants focus on voting rights of people
Staff Reporter, Dhaka

Aspirants hot on campaign trail

Awami League mayoral candidates for Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Atiqul Islam (1) Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh (2), BNP mayoral aspirants for DNCC Tabith Awal (3) and DSCC Ishraque Hossain (4) conduct their electioneering in their respective election areas in the capital yesterday. Focus Bangla Photo

Electioneering for the Dhaka city corporation elections formally began on January 10. All candidates nominated by the ruling Awami League (AL) and arch-rival Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) have hit the campaign trail. The Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) elections are scheduled for February 1. With AL’s mayoral and councillor candidates dominating the campaigns, the BNP candidates appear to be struggling. The ruling party’s mayoral candidates are highlighting the government’s achievements and development projects while seeking votes from city residents. They have promised to modernise and develop the capital.

On the other hand, mayoral candidates from the BNP are focused on the movement to re-establish people’s voting rights and restore democracy in the country.

If elected, they promise to continue the movement and secure the release from jail of party chairperson Khaleda Zia. The BNP chief has been in jail since February 8, 2018.

BNP candidates have levelled allegations against the police for arresting BNP leaders and workers while on the campaign trail. They have also blamed the ruling party for obstructing their electioneering. The candidates have demanded a level playing field for the elections.

Both AL and BNP candidates have gone door-to-door in their localities and distributed leaflets while seeking votes.

AL DSCC mayoral candidate Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh has been campaigning every day. He has promised to transform historic Dhaka into the modern capital of a developed nation.

“If I am elected in the upcoming city polls, DSCC will rebuild the capital in accordance with my 30-year mega plan. We will make Dhaka active and healthy and modern,” he said.

Taposh began his electioneering at the city’s Notre Dame College area yesterday.

AL’s mayoral candidate for DNCC, Atiqul Islam, highlighted during his campaign the present government’s achievements and various development projects. He called on city residents to vote for the boat symbol to ensure further development.

“If I am elected, Dhaka North will be transformed into a smart, active, and modern city that ensures all amenities for city dwellers,” he said.

Atiqul was campaigning in the Kalyanpur Khaza market area yesterday, and he reiterated his promise to build a modern, developed, and woman-friendly city.

Tabith Awal, BNP’s mayoral candidate for the DNCC, however, urged everyone to join hands against the conspiracies of the AL-led government by participating in the ongoing movement to restore democracy and people’s rights.

He made the request while addressing an election rally in Mirpur’s BRTA area in Dhaka yesterday.

Tabith called on party leaders and workers to stand beside the voters on election day to help them exercise their voting rights. He expressed fear that the ruling party may prevent residents from

casting their votes during the upcoming polls. He hoped the steps taken by the Election Commission would enable the holding of free and fair polls.Earlier in the day, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, along with the party’s two mayoral candidates, paid tribute at the grave of party founder Ziaur Rahman, marking his 84th birth anniversary.

BNP-nominated candidate for DSCC Ishraque Hossain campaigned yesterday in the city’s Lalbagh Thana area.

He called on voters to visit voting centres on polling day and vote against the misrule of the government in a bid to save Dhaka and restore democracy.

“And obviously it is a chance to free our leader Khaleda Zia from jail,” he added. During his campaign on Saturday, Ishraque promised to continue the ongoing movement to restore democracy. “If I am elected, I will continue the movement to ensure peoples’ rights and it will continue until BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia is released from jail,” he said.

The whole city now wears a festive look with posters, banners, and festoons of mainly the ruling party’s mayoral and councillor candidates. Posters and banners of BNP candidates and their supporters are barely noticeable in comparison.