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20 June, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 20 June, 2018 12:01:27 AM
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Gazipur city polls

Campaigning gains momentum

RAFIQUL ISLAM AZAD and HAZINUR RAHMAN SHAHIN
Campaigning gains 
momentum
With Gazipur city polls only a week away, Awami League mayoral candidate Jahangir Alam (left) and BNP candidate Hasan Uddin Sarkar conduct electioneering in Gazipur city yesterday. Electioneering resumed in the city on Monday after a month and a half following a court stay. Independent Photos

Campaigning for the Gazipur City Corporation (GCC) poll is gaining momentum, with candidates ignoring the inclement weather—the heat, humidity and rains—amid the Eid vacation, with just six days to go for the election. The candidates, especially Jahangir Alam of the ruling Awami League (AL) and Hasanuddin Sarker of the BNP, are going from door to door to reach out to the largest possible number of voters before the election, scheduled for June 26.

The Gazipur city area, mostly populated by industrial workers, however, is still deserted, as the holidaymakers have just started returning home after celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr with their near and dear ones in their ancestral homes in other districts.

Locals said a significant number of voters, especially industrial workers, have still not returned to Gazipur after celebrating the Eid holidays at their respective native villages, which has impacted the election campaign.

During his poll campaign, the AL candidate is seeking votes in favour of the ‘boat’, the poll symbol of the party, for the sake of development, while the BNP candidate is canvassing for the ‘sheaf of paddy’, the poll symbol of the party. He is seeking help for “the restoration of democracy in the country”.

The candidates are seeking votes from the voters at roadside meetings and carrying out mass contact programmes in different areas of the city.

The BNP candidate yesterday reiterated his party’s demand to deploy the Army during the city poll so that it can be held in a free and fair manner and voters can cast their votes without fear and intimidation. He also accused the ruling party candidate of violating the election code of conduct by hanging colourful festoons on the Dhaka–Mymensingh highway.

The central leaders of the both the ruling party and its arch rival BNP have already joined the poll campaign in favour of the candidates of their respective parties.

BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan, chairperson Khaleda Zia’s special affairs secretary Dr Asaduzzaman Ripon, organising secretary Shama Obayed, Saidul Islam Babul and others have already joined the poll campaign in favour of party candidate Hasanuddin Sarker. More leaders are expected to come to Gazipur to participate in the poll campaign within a couple of days.

Earlier, the poll campaign formally began on Monday, one-and-a-half months after a sudden stay was imposed on the poll. The election, scheduled to be held on May 15 before the stay order was imposed on it by the High Court, is now slated for June 26.

A total of seven candidates—including Jahangir Alam and Hasanuddin Sarker—are in the fray for the mayoral post. Six of them have been nominated by different political parties while one is an Independent candidate.

Besides, 254 candidates are contesting for the posts of councillors in the 57 general wards in the city, while 84 women candidate are contesting for reserved seats in the 19 reserved wards. A total of 11,37,736 voters are expected to cast their votes in the GCC poll.

BNP organising secretary and the convenor of the election conducting committee, Fazlul Haque Milon, alleged that the ruling party’s candidate is carrying out one violation of the electoral code of conduct after another. “We have lodged several complaints with the Election Commission (EC) but it has not taken any steps in this respect,” he alleged.

Haque, who is also the president of the Gazipur district unit of the BNP, accused police of threatening and intimidating party leaders and activists with the aim of preventing them from carrying out the poll campaign.

BNP media office sources said Hasan Sarker yesterday carried out his poll campaign in Ward Nos. 32, 33, 35 and 48.

Advocate Azmot Ullah Khan, the chief co-coordinator of the AL-nominated mayoral candidate, advocate Jahangir Alam, told The Independent that all local leaders are working for their candidate, along with the central leaders. He said, “They don’t work only for Jahangir Alam, they work for the boat (symbol), so that the boat can win in the next general elections.”

The mayoral candidate nominated by the AL, Jahangir Alam, participated in the election campaign and held meetings at Konabari and Kashimpur from morning till evening on Tuesday.

The central leaders, including organising secretary Ahmed Hossain and SM Jamal Uddin, joined the poll campaign in favour of the party candidate.

Speaking at a rally at Kashimpur, Jahangir Alam assured the voters that if elected the GCC mayor, he would work for every citizen, so that they can enjoy their basic rights. He called upon the party leaders and activists to reach out to all the voters and seek votes for him.

"It is not possible for me to go to all areas within this short time. You all go to your wards and participate in the campaign on my behalf for the rest of these days,” he said.

 

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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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