Poll campaign for the upcoming elections to the two Dhaka city corporations has reached its peak as the candidates for both mayoral and councilor posts are busy doing frantic efforts to woo voters.
Apart from seeking votes, candidates are trying to convince the youths by visiting their meeting places and play grounds. Many are also trying to woo women at schools.Many aspirants are making sudden visit to badminton courts and playing with the voters as part of their poll campaign for Dhaka city elections slated for February 1.
The ruling Awami League and opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-backed mayoral candidates continued to make various pledges during their electioneering.
On the 11th day of the poll campaign, the four mayoral candidates visited different areas in the capital and sought votes for poll symbols ‘Boat’ and ‘Sheaf of Paddy’.
The Election Commission (EC) on Saturday rescheduled the Dhaka city polls for February 1. Earlier the polling date was January 30.
The EC shifted the city polls from January 30 to February 1 amid protests by people as the polls coincide with Saraswati Puja, a festival of Hindu community.
Awami Leage-backed candidate Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh and BNP’s Ishraque Hossain are contesting Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) election for mayoral post while Atiqul Islam of Awami League and BNP’s Tabith Awal are fighting for mayoral post in the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC).During his poll campaign, Taposh said people are not giving ear to BNP’s ‘false’ allegation over EVM rather the city dwellers have welcomed EVM use in the upcoming Dhaka city polls.
“The modern technology has been accepted by the city people. They have not accepted BNP’s allegation. They will cast their vote through EVM to select their servant,” he said during his poll campaign in the city’s Khilgaon Rail Gate area.
The Awami League mayoral candidate has also termed BNP’s allegation of breaching the election code of conduct as lame excuse.
“Their (BNP) such allegation proves that they have decided to participate in the poll with a target to free their corrupt leader from jail…It is not for the sake of development of Dhaka,” he said.
Taposh said he would work as a servant of Dhaka city people if he is elected.
“I will turn Dhaka into a green city to revive its glorious history. The city will also be freed from traffic congestion,” he said.
DSCC mayoral candidate of BNP Ishraq Hossain said the youths will give a befitting reply to the ruling party men’s claim that he is too young to lead the city corporation.
“I hope the youths are with me and they will cast their votes for ‘Sheaf of Paddy’ to give a befitting reply to the critics,” he said during his poll campaign in the city’s Segunbagicha area.
The BNP’s mayoral candidate also said Dhaka has become unlivable city due to negligence of the government.
“Apart from working to restore people’s voting rights, if elected, I will work to make Dhaka a livable city,” he said.
DNCC mayoral candidate of Awami League Atiqul Islam said he does not want to make any complaint rather he wants to work for immediate solution to the problems facing the city dwellers.
“Rival will make allegations but I do not do so….Rather I will convey the message of development to the people,” he said during his electioneering in Khilkhet Rail Gate area.
“Dhaka Wasa and other service providers will be made accountable if I am elected,” he added.
During the poll campaign, BNP’s mayoral candidate Tabith Awal said he would work for restoring democracy and people’s voting rights by facing all the challenges.
“The main challenge is to restore democracy and voting rights, and ensure political stability so that all political parties can work for the welfare of the people,” he said while conducting poll campaign at Mirpur.
Tabith also said he would work for the country facing all the challenges by uniting city people.
“We want Khaleda Zia’s return to us as we want to get rid of corruption, misrule, dengue and pollution,” he added.
The last elections to DSCC and DNCC were held in 2015. Sayeed Khokon was elected mayor of DSCC and Annisul Huq became mayor of DNCC. Later, Atiqul Islam became DNCC mayor after the mayoral post there fell vacant following the death of Annisul Huq.