BNP believes AL will not intervene in Gazipur polls

Aditto Rimon
Published : 22:19, Jun 13, 2018 | Updated : 22:22, Jun 13, 2018

The Election Commission had scheduled the voting for May 15 but had to postpone it due to  a court order.The BNP says it believes the ruling Awami League will not intervene in the Gazipur City Corporation election, unlike the polls in Khulna last month.

Senior party leaders joined a meeting on Wednesday at the party chief’s Gulshan offices to plan for the campaign strategy for the Jun 26 polls.

“We will launch the campaigns from Jun 18. Central leaders will work in tandem with local leaders. If the polls turn out to be fair, then we are certain of a win,” BNP Vice-Chairman Abdullah Al Noman told Bangla Tribune after the meeting.

A senior leader, who attended the meeting but asked not to be named, said they believe that the ruling party will not intervene in the upcoming city polls like it did in Khulna.

“Talukder Abdul Khalek MP was reluctant over running for Khulna mayor, but upon Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s instruction he resigned from parliament. So the Awami League heavily influenced the administration to make sure he wins and that happened,” he told Bangla Tribune.

But the case for Gazipur is different as the local Awami League is split over party-nominated candidate Jahangir Alam.

“We have instructed local BNP leaders in Gazipur to wrap all differences and work for the party’s candidate. Hasanuddin Sarkar (the BNP candidate) has a large vote bank and if the administration remains fair, then there’s no doubt he will win,” said the senior BNP leader.

BNP leaders agreed on Wednesday to send a delegation to the Election Commission over upcoming Gazipur polls.

Sources said that the meeting may take place on Jun 19 or 20, when the party will raise issues like deploying the army, withdrawing the Gazipur police chief and measures to stop arrest and harassment of BNP supporters.

“We will meet the election commissioners to discuss our concerns, but a date is yet to be set,” Barkatullah Bulu, a BNP vice-chairman, told Bangla Tribune.

The Election Commission had scheduled the voting for May 15 but had to postpone it due to  a court order.

The High Court stalled the election for three months following a petition challenging redistricting of six areas of Dhaka’s Savar Municipality to the Gazipur City Corporation.

Later, the Appellate Division dismissed the stay order following pleas by the Awami League and BNP mayoral candidates and the Election Commission, when the EC rescheduled the polls.