Rebel candidates for councillor posts have emerged as a big challenge for the ruling Awami League and Bangladesh Nationalist Party nominated contestants for the elections to the two city corporations in Dhaka, slated for February 1.
Insiders of both the parties said the rebels may create obstacles for the party-backed candidates to win the polls of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) and Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC).It is learnt that there are some 37 dissidents, who are loyal to BNP, in the elections to the two city corporations.
Out of 75 wards in Dhaka South City Corporation, there are some 14 dissidents while 23 in Dhaka North City Corporation.
But the scenario for the ruling party is grim as five to 10 dissidents have been contesting the polls defying the party directive.
Some 584 aspirants are vying the polls in 129 wards of the two city corporations.
Out of 75 wards in DSCC, some five to 10 aspirants are contesting the polls in ward 4, ward 9, ward 11, ward 12, ward 19, ward 26, ward 28, ward 32, ward 36, ward 39, ward 44, ward 45, ward 46, ward 47, ward 48, ward 50, ward 51, ward 52, ward 55, ward 56, ward 57, ward 58, ward 59, ward 60, ward 61, ward 62, ward 64, ward 66, ward 67 and ward 69.
Out of 54 wards in DNCC, some five to nine contestants are vying the race in ward 2, ward 3, ward 4, ward 5, ward 6, ward 7, ward 8, ward 11, ward 13, ward 14, ward 15, ward 16, ward 20, ward 23, ward 25, ward 29, ward 30, ward 31, ward 32, ward 35, ward 36, ward 38, ward 39, ward 40, ward 43, ward 47, ward 48, ward 49 and ward 54.Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader recently said that they had been trying to tame down the rebels.
“The disciplinary committee of the party has been trying to tame down those who are contesting the polls defying the party directive,” he said.
Awami League presidium member Abdur Rahman said that they had been working for the party-backed candidates only.
“We are not thinking about those who are contesting the polls defying the party directive,” he said.
BNP policymakers say that they have been requesting the dissidents to stay away from the race for the sake of the party.
“The party has given responsibility to some senior leaders to tame down the dissidents. We hope that the rebels will quit before the elections,” BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said.
Many of the rebels told the daily sun that they would not stay away from the electoral race as locals want them to contest the polls.
The dissidents said that the party could take any measure against them but they would not stay away from the poll race. They claim that they will remain in the election field considering the sentiments of local people.
As per a provision of the local government law, the mayoral candidates of registered political parties will contest the polls using the party symbols.
The ruling party already fielded sitting mayor Atiqul Islam for the DNCC and Fazle Noor Taposh for the DSCC, dropping the incumbent mayor Sayeed Khokan while the BNP nominated Tabith Awal and Ishraq Hossain, son of former BNP-backed mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka, for DNCC and DSCC respectively.
So, the aspirants do not want to leave the field unchallenged.