Chairman of Jatiya Party and former President Lt Gen Hossain Md Ershad said, "The municipal election with party symbol is a new conspiracy of the ruling Awami League. They think that the country is their sole asset. But, this country is for all. On the other hand, BNP wants to get to power through subversive activities. Their goal will not be fulfilled also."
H M Ershad was speaking as chief guest at the council of district JP at Cox's Bazar Cultural Centre on Sunday afternoon.
Convener of district JP Haji Ilias, MP, presided over the programme, while its Member Secretary Adv Mohammad Tarek moderated it and Water Resources Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud was present as special guest.
Among others, Joint Secretary General Rezaul Islam Bhuiyan, Khorshed Ara Haque, MP, Kabir Ahamad Saudagor, and Mafizur Rahman also spoke.
A mobile court here fined two councillor candidates in Habiganj Municipality for violating electoral code of conduct on Sunday.
Each of the convicted councillor candidates- from ward no. 5 Enamul Haque Sohel and from ward no. 9 Mahbubur Rahman Helal, was fined Tk 5,000.
A team of police led by Sub-Inspector (SI) of Habiganj Sadar Police Station Krishna Mohan Deb and Executive Magistrate of the mobile court Alamgir Hossain raided the Muslim Quarter area of the municipality and found posters of Enamul Haque Sohel without the name of press, number of prints and date, and fined him. Later, the court burnt at least 300 posters of the candidate.
On the other hand, the same court found posters of another candidate Mahbubur Rahman Helal with the similar allegations and fined him. Later, the court burnt at least 500 posters of the candidate.
BNP and its front wing leaders and activists led by General Secretary of district BNP, leader of Doctors' Association of Bangladesh (DAB) and eminent orthopaedic Dr Anwarul Haque campaigned for BNP-backed mayoral candidate from Netrakona Municipality and Organising Secretary of district BNP SM Moniruzzaman Dudu from Sunday morning till afternoon at Kurpar area of the municipality. The campaigners distributed leaflets and sought votes to people of all strata.
At that time, former President of municipal BNP Abdul Wahab Bhuiyan, former President of district Sramik Dal Syed Abdul Motaleb, President of district Tanti Dal Azizul Haque, General Secretary of Sadar upazila BNP Tazezul Islam Faras Sujat, its Joint Secretary Kamrul Haque, leader of district Krishak Dal Sohrab Hossen Master, Secretary of municipal Chhatra Dal Md Sanaullah, its Joint Secretary Shariful Islam Sobuj, faruk Mir, Secretary of Sadar upazila Chhatra Dal Syed Azharul Islam Kamol and other leaders and activists also took part in the campaign.
Centring municipal election, at least five supporters of Awami League and independent candidates were injured during a clash at Choumuhany Bazaar under Hatia upazila here on Sunday noon.
Of the injured four have been identified as; former President of upazila unit Chhatra League Sayed Ahmed, 28, and AL activists-Monirul Islam Sohel, 33, Bahar Uddin, 30, and Main Uddin, 29.
Locals and eyewitnesses said at noon, supporters of AL mayoral candidate Yusuf Ali and independent candidate Adv Saif Uddin locked in a clash while they were campaigning at ward nos. 8 and 9, leaving five people of both the candidates injured. They were treated locally.
Bahar Uddin, supporter of the AL candidate said supporters of independent candidate Adv Saif Uddin attacked on them suddenly and injured them.
In this connection, Advocate Saif Uddin said supporters of AL candidate led by one Nahal beat brother of a councillor candidate Main Uddin which triggered the clash. Besides, they vandalised one Zahir's shop at Choumuhany Bazaar.
Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Hatia Police Station Nurul Huda said police are investigating into the matter.
Meanwhile, on Sunday at 12pm, independent candidate Adv Saif Uddin organised a press conference at his residence alleging obstruction in his campaign and beating of his men by the supporters of AL candidate.
Three mayoral candidates except BNP nominated aspirant in Panchagarh Municipality have vowed to root out corruption and terrorism to build a society free from drug abuse, if elected.
The candidates made their electoral pledges and responded to voters' queries in a 'Face-to-face with people' programme organised by Sushashoner Jonno Nagorik (Sujan) at Sher-e-Bangla Park in the town on Sunday.
The candidates who attended the programme are: Zakia Khatun (AL), Abdul Mazid of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) and Abdul Khalek (Independent), ameer of Jamaat's district unit.
The BNP nominated aspirant and also sitting Mayor of Panchagarh Municipality Touhidul Islam did not attend the programme due to unknown reasons.
Meanwhile, the candidates promised to fulfil the electoral pledges if elected and committed to work together for the development of the municipality.
They also promised to fight against all menaces of the society including stalking, extortion, ensuring supply of safe drinking water, preserve communal harmony and beautify the municipality.
The mayoral candidates also vowed to keep themselves free from corruption and accept the people's verdict in the election.
President of Sujan's Panchagarh district unit Principal Shafiqul Islam presided over the programme while Coordinator of central committee Sujan Dilip Biswas conducted the programme.
Returning Officer and Deputy Additional Commissioner (ADC/General) Manikher Rahman declared mayoral candidate and sitting Mayor Md. Habibur Rahman Malek as mayor of Pirojpur Municipality.
Out of three seats for reserved women councillors, Minara Begum from ward nos. 4, 5 and 6, and Hafiza Akter Khushi from ward nos. 7, 8 and 9, also sitting councillors, have been elected unopposed. Now, the remaining councillor candidates from ward nos. 1, 2 and 3- Momtaj Begum, sitting councillor, and Sheuli Akter are contesting.
At least 30 general councillor candidates are contesting in nine wards. From ward no. 1- Md. Abdur Razzaque Mollah, Md. Akramul Haque and Sardar Ziaul Hasan; from ward no. 2- Kazi Sawkat Hossain, Md. Farhat Hossain (Tulu), Md. Bashir Sikder, Md. Hanif Sikder and Humayun Kabir Sikder; from ward no. 3- Abdul Hannan Khan and Md. Sarwar Hosin Hawlader; from ward no. 4- AKM Zahid Hossain (Piru), Md. Jahangir Alam, and Md. Shahidul Islam Sikder; from ward no. 5- Abdus Salam Baten, Md. Murshid Sheikh, Md. Reazuddin Sheikh, Mostafa Al Mamun, and Sheikh Meraj; from ward no. 6- Md. Abdus Salam Madhu, Md. Anwarul Kabir, Md. Rafiqul Islam and Sakil Sikder; from ward no. 7- Md. Miznur Rahman (Khokhon), Md. Sadullah Liton and Sunil Kumar Chakrabartee; from ward no. 8- Md. Abdul Hye Hawlader and Md. Alamgir Hossain; and from ward no. 9- Md. Nazrul Islam Sikder, Md. Jalal Uddin Fakir, and Md. Mostafa Kamal Fakir.
Candidates in six municipalities including Belkuchi of the district have involved themselves in full-fledged campaign in view of the upcoming municipal election scheduled on December 30 next. In this time's election, party symbol is one of the main factors in electing candidate.
In Belkuchi Municipality, the main contest will take place between two main symbols- 'boat' and 'dhaner shish' (paddy sheaf), local people guessed. But, some negative factors like internal feud between leaders of both AL and BNP will also loom large in the election.
Meanwhile, keeping campaign and public interaction in mind, candidates are attending in different mass gatherings and are seeking votes by presenting attractive pledges before voters. The whole municipality has been awash with posters of different candidates, with their respective particulars and other information.
As the contest will take place between AL and BNP, so there is much enthusiasm among supporters of the two parties. Both AL and BNP are trying their best to see their respective candidate's win. But, still there is some prevalent negative factors including internal feud in the parties which may change the expected polls result.
The Belkuchi Municipality was established in 2004 with nine wards, and it is a 3rd class municipality. There are total 46,418 voters and of them, 22,292 are female voters and 24,126 male voters. In 2010, the first election was held here in which AL-backed Alhaj Mofiz Uddin Khan Lal defeated BNP's Abdur Razzak Mondal with marginal votes. Before 2010, the municipal was run by administrators.
This time, the candidates from the municipality are: former lawmaker and Minister Abdul Latif Biswas's wife Ashanur Biswas (AL) with 'boat', Jamal Uddin Bhuiyan (BNP) with 'dhaner shish', and Rezaul Karim (Islami Andolon) with 'hatpakha' (hand fan). Besides, 40 general councillor and 14 reserved women councillor candidates are also contesting.
Since their candidate won with marginal votes, so AL is considering this time's election as a prestige issue, while BNP is thinking that their candidate is the best and he will win with overwhelming votes. The AL candidate Ashanur Biswas has been involved in party politics for long and currently she is vice-president of Belkuchi upazila AL and won in Doulatpur upazila election with huge votes.
Meanwhile, BNP first nominated Abdur Razzak Mondal but finally gave nomination to Jamal Uddin Bhuiyan. There is some grouping in BNP politics since there are two factions- one led by President of district BNP Iqbal Hasan Mahmud Tuku and another by former President of Chhatra Dal's central committee Amirul Islam Alim. Now, the local AL is thinking that they are in opportune position. But, once source claimed that there is some grouping also in AL politics here. In the last general parliamentary election, Abdul Latif Biswas was denied nomination while eminent industrialist Abdul Mazid Mondal was given AL ticket. So, the grouping may surface during the municipal election, the source claimed.
However, there is widespread frustration among voters here. No visible development works were conducted here in the last five years, the voters expressed with grief. Md Ashraf Ali of ward no. 9 Shernagar area of the municipality said, "We will cast our votes by considering the most suitable candidate who will do his or her best for the development of the municipality."
The AL mayoral candidate Ashanur Biswas said during the present government's tenure there was much development. If she wins the development works will continue, she added. She, however, denied any grouping in AL here.
The BNP mayoral candidate Jamal Uddin Bhiuyan also claimed that there is no grouping in BNP politics here and hoped that voters will consider him as their mayor since he is committed to perform widespread development works here.
The election campaign is gaining impetus in Thakurgaon Municipality area despite severe cold as the polling day is approaching.
Mayoral and councillor candidates are going from door to door of voters seeking votes by presenting before them respective electoral pledges. Besides posters, banners and festoons of different candidates have been pasted on different establishments throughout the municipal area.
In Thakurgaon Municipality, four mayoral, 52 councillor and 15 reserved women councillor candidates are contesting.
The mayoral candidates are: Tahmina Molla (AL) with 'boat', Mirza Faisal Amin (BNP) with 'dhaner shish' (paddy sheaf), Solaiman Ali Sarkar (rebel AL) with (mobile phone), and Mahfuzul Islam (independent) with (coconut tree).
In Thakurgaon Municipality, there are 52,883 voters and of them 26,545 are female voters and 26,338 are male voters.
The voters have expressed their mixed reactions. Md. Shahjahan, a voter and a poultry trader of Godhulibazar said he will cast his vote in favour of the fittest candidate. Another voter Akhtar Hossain Raja of Hajipara said he will cast his vote in favour of pro-liberation candidate.