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Saturday, April 4, 2015, Chaitra 21, 1421 BS, Jamadius Sani 13, 1436 Hijr

City Polls
BNP braces for a fight in city polls
Al Amin
Published : Saturday, 4 April, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 24

The 20-party alliance led by Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is disparately trying to win in the upcoming three city elections to be held on April 28 to restore the alliance's image, party insiders said.
The alliance has formed a 501-member committee under the banner of Chattragram Unnayan Andolon. A similar committee will be formed in the two city corporations in the capital under the banner of 'Basjagya Dhaka Chai' to supervise the city polls.
The new platform has been formed to hold city corporation polls in the face of strong opposition from the pro-BNP professional groups under the banner of "Sato Nagorik Committee," a body of intellectuals.
The two non-political organisations would be run by eminent pro-alliance citizens and professionals and the senior BNP leaders will coordinate the committees, BNP sources said.
Dhaka city unit BNP Member Secretary Habib-un-Nabi Khan Sohel will lead the election committee of the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) while BNP Joint Secretary General Barkatullah Bulu will lead the committee of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), the BNP insiders said.
The members of the committees will start their activities after the announcement of the names of the alliance supported candidates by the BNP Chairperson.
BNP Standing Committee member Lt Gen (Retd) Mahbubur Rahman told The Daily Observer, BNP is taking the city election as a challenge. So the party will take all initiatives to make the party-backed candidates victorious."    
Prof Dr Emajuddin Ahmed, former vice-chancellor of the Dhaka University at a discussion at the Dhaka Reporters Unity on Friday said, "There is a 501- member committee in Chittagong, if need be we will make a 1,001-man committee in Dhaka."
"We have to connect with all pro-democratic parties and not stay limited to citizens' committee to make pro-BNP candidates winners in the three elections in two cities," he said.
Prof Emajuddin, also chief of pro-BNP professional body Sato Nagorik Committee, alleged that a level-playing field is yet be created for the city corporation elections as the BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia is still 'under siege.'
"The office of one of the largest party in the country is still under lock and key. A three-time prime minister is under siege at her office," he claimed.
The former DU vice chancellor said, "Even in such bad times, Khaleda Zia has agreed to participate in the polls. The anti-government movement will have to be strengthened by winning these polls."
Dr Emajuddin Ahmed said, "We will have to bring the three city corporations under our control through victory in the polls. If we cannot ensure our victory, we will have to suffer in future."
Meanwhile, addressing a discussion meeting of the pro-BNP physicians, Bangladesh Supreme Court Bar Association President and Khaleda Zia's adviser Advocate Khandkar  Mahbub Hossain said that the BNP leaders  and activists who failed to come out on the streets during the anti-government movement should give up their portfolios.
"If you fear the government or the law enforcing agencies, you should quit party posts and positions," he said adding that Khaleda Zia would not forgive those leaders and activists.
Many BNP leaders have submitted nomination papers, most are yet to publicly start campaigning for the city polls.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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