An Awami League lawmaker, violating the electoral code of conduct, joined the electioneering of the party’s mayoral candidate for Dhaka North City Atiqul Islam in the capital’s Agargaon area on Tuesday.
Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s north city mayoral candidate Tabith Awal conducted campaigns in Badda and Shahjadpur on the day, but both plainclothes and uniformed law enforcers allegedly followed the campaigns creating anxiety among his supporters.
Campaign posters for Atiqul were visible everywhere in the city but those for Tabith were rarely seen.
Tabith alleged that his posters were being torn down by AL supporters.
Both the candidates passed busy time on Tuesday trying to woo voters in their favour for the city polls scheduled to be held on January 30.
Atiqul was scheduled to start his electioneering at 11:00am on the day from Shatadal Complex in Agargaon. Before his arrival at the venue at about 12:30pm, Dhaka-13 Member of Parliament Sadek Khan came there, attended the campaign gathering and sat at the podium.
The city corporation electoral code prohibits lawmakers and ministers from joining the electioneering for any candidate.
When reporters asked him about the electoral code violation, Sadek said that he just attended the function, was not seeking votes.
He left the podium after some time.
Atiqul conducted his election campaign in wards 28, 29, 30 and 32 in Agargaon and Mirpur on Tuesday.
Tabith carried out his electioneering in wards 21, 37, 38, 39 and 40 in Badda and Shahjadpur on the day.
The BNP mayoral candidate alleged that though he was canvassing for votes peacefully, both plainclothes and uniformed law enforcers followed his electioneering, creating anxiety among his supporters.
Tabith alleged that law enforcers were also harassing his supporters.
‘Targeted intimidation by law enforcers is going on also to create panic among our councillor candidates and supporters,’ he said.
‘My supporters cannot sleep at their homes at night,’ he said while talking to reporters in Badda during his campaign on Tuesday morning.
Plainclothes cops were storming and searching the houses of his supporters to intimidate them, he alleged.
Rozi Begum, a supporter of Tabith and BNP activist living in South Badda, said that police were harassing her family members as they were supporters of Tabith.
She alleged that they were warned by AL activists about consequences if they sought votes for Tabith.
‘They also don’t want to let us hang Tabith’s campaign posters and, if hung in their absence, those are torn down later,’ she said.
As per the electoral code, no loudspeaker is allowed for electioneering before 2:00pm but AL leaders also used the device before the time at the Agargaon campigning.
During his campaign in Khilgoan, BNP south city mayoral candidate Ishraque Hossain said that their posters were being torn down and their activists threatened while working in favour him. ‘Is it a crime to hang posters? We are being threatened that if we hang posters we will be handed over to police,’ he said, terming the government ‘fascist’.
Awami League advisory council members Mukul Bose, Abul Hasnat, joint general secretary AFM Bahauddin Nasim, Juba Mahila League general secretary Apu Ukil and local party leaders accompanied AL south city mayoral candidate Fazle Noor Taposh during his election campaign.
Leaders of Bangladesh Juba League also held mass-contacts in Azimpur, Lalbagh and New Paltan in favour of Taposh.
Asked about the code violations alleged against him by the BNP, Taposh said that they did not violate the code during their election campaigns.
He was speaking at an election rally at Jhautala in Kamrangirchar.
He urged the voters to elect him the mayor for developing Dhaka as a prosperous, beautiful and clean city.
After the rally, Taposh made mass-contact tours of the wards 55, 56 and 57 in Kamrangirchar.
Communist Party of Bangladesh’s mayoral candidate for Dhaka South City Sajedul Huq Rubel held mass-contact tours in Kazipara and Pallabi.
Apart from Taposh and Ishraque, the other valid south city mayoral candidates are Saifuddin Ahmed Milon of Jatiya Party, Maulana Abdur Rahman of Islami Andolan Bangladesh, Bahrane Sultan Bahar of National Peoples Party, Md Aktaruzzaman alias Ayatullah of Bangladesh Congress, and Abdus Samad Sujan of Gono Front.
Besides Atiqul and Tabith, the other valid north city mayoral candidates are Ahammad Sazedul Haque of Communist Party of Bangladesh, Shahin Khan of Progressive Democratic Party, Fazle Bari Masud of Islami Andolan Bangladesh, and Anisur Rahman Dewan of National Peoples Party.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Politics