Conflicts in ruling Awami League over Chattogram City Corporation elections surfaced as incumbent mayor AJM Nasir Uddin on Tuesday claimed that he was a victim of conspiracy that deprived him from getting nomination.
The Election Commission on the day began distribution of nomination papers for mayor, councillor and councillor reserved for women posts and it would continue till February 27.
Returning officer for the election Md Hasanuzzaman, also regional election officer of Chattogram, said that 14 people collected nomination forms on the first day.
Three days after the ruling Awami League nominated less-known Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, joint general secretary of its Chattogram city unit, for the mayoral post in the election to Chattogram City Corporation dropping him, Nasir on Tuesday lamented, ‘I am a victim of conspiracy, evil politics and falsehood. I have no hatred and anger. I am a politician, a political activist emerged from the grassroots level.’
Nasir made the remark at a views exchange with journalists at Chattogram Press Club.
‘I got hurt as a vested quarter started defaming me by posting an old photo of mine with a relative of a killer of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. It was me who brought out procession in Chattogram College after the killing of Bangabandhu. It was me who foiled the meeting of killer Colonel Faruq. I did not allow them to arrange any meeting in the port city. But it is very unfortunate that recently they shared a photo of a killer’s brother with me on Facebook,’ said Nasir.
Nasir explained that he went to inaugurate a shop at Oxygen area in the city at the request of former Chhatra League leader Akram Khan. ‘Now they are claiming that I took a photo with the brother of a killer of Bangabandhu. I don’t even know him and never seen him earlier,’ he said.
‘It is very unfortunate to hatch such conspiracy against them to deprive me to get party nomination,’ he said.
But city unit AL vice president Khorshed Alam Sujon told New Age the party chief has taken the right decision.
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party is yet to pick any mayor candidate.
Three BNP leaders of Chattogram — city unit BNP president Shahadat Hossain, vice-president Niaz Mohammad Khan, and general secretary Abul Hashem Bakkar— collected party nomination forms from its central office at Naya Paltan in Dhaka on Tuesday.
Jatiya Party chairman GM Quader in a meeting at the party’s central office at Banani in Dhaka on February 17 declared Solaiman Alam Sheth as the contestant for the mayoral polls.
He said that in Chattogram Jatiya Party was more organized and people in Chattogram love Jatiya Party. Returning officer Md Hasanuzzaman said that the Election Commission had already taken all preparations to hold the Chattogram city polls on March 29, as per schedule announced on February 16.
The deadline for submission of nomination papers is February 27 while scrutiny of nomination papers will be held on March 1, and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is March 8. The election symbols will be allotted on March 9.
Hasanuzzaman said that there would be 721polling stations with 4,924 booths for 19,17,978 voters. Among the voters, 9,85,982 are male and 9,31,996 are female, he said.
The previous elections to Chattogram City Corporation were held on April 28, 2015. The number of voters was then 18,13,449 and among them 9,37,053 were male and 8,76,396 were female.
Incumbent mayor AJM Nasir Uddin of Awami League was elected defeating Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s candidate Manjur Alam Manju.