AL, BNP desperate to win city polls

Special Correspondent

14 January, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Two major political parties – the ruling Awami League and opposition BNP – are desperate to ensure victory for their candidates in the upcoming Dhaka city corporation elections.

Both the parties have chalked up plans for election campaign to ensure their victory, cashing in on different national issues.

AL insiders think although the poll result would not put any kind of influence on national politics, they want to win the elections to put the final nail to the coffin of its rival BNP.

Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader recently claimed that 90 percent of the people do not want BNP in power.

“The number may increase in future and that party’s popularity will be dragged down gradually,” he said.

Standing firm against the ruling party’s stance, the BNP is participating in the city polls as part of their movement to free its imprisoned chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail and restore democracy.

Khaleda Zia has been serving a 17-year jail term in two separate corruption cases.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also president of the ruling Awami League, has already directed her council of ministers and lawmakers to work for the party-backed candidates following the electoral code so that they could win the polls.

Sources in the government say it wants to hold a free, fair and credible election to strengthen the country’s hard-earned democracy.

Meanwhile, BNP senior leaders have been carrying out campaign for their candidates, highlighting the negative activities of the ruling party and its government.

The party thinks that the country’s democracy is at stake after the ruling party’s victory in the December 30 parliamentary elections.

BNP-dominated Jatiya Oikya Front convener Dr Kamal Hossain on Saturday said there was no democracy in the country in a real sense.

“We have achieved the independence after a long struggle. But what have we got today? There is no security to the people and people are being oppressed, killed and raped. Such acts would not be staged if the democracy prevails in the country in a reality. The government has been failed to ensure security for the people,” he said.

BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said recently that elections would not be held in a free, fair and credible manner under the Awami League-led government.

“BNP has participated in the last general elections to prove that elections would not be held in a free, fair and credible manner under the Awami League-led government,” he said.

“We are going to participate in the elections to two Dhaka city corporations this time too,” he added.

Political analysts think both the parties will try their best to win the city polls as the election results may play an important role in the country’s future politics.

The AL will want to put the final nail to the coffin in a bid to establish its absolute authority in the field of politics while BNP will try to regain its image among the people, the key source of power.

While announcing the schedule for the city corporation polls, Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda requested the voters to turn up to the polling booths. 

“We will ensure security so that you can return home safely after casting your votes,” he said, hoping that the elections would be competitive and open for all.