Radwan Mujib Siddiq, grandson of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, made a surprise visit to the campaign office of Awami League mayoral candidate in the DNCC election Atiqul Islam on Monday night and stressed on an intensive last-minute door-to-door campaign to secure victory for the ‘Boat’ symbol.
Radwan, also a voter in Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), made the sudden visit at the Banani party office where party leaders along with mayor candidate Atiqul Islam were present.
Speaking before the party activists, he urged all, including party leaders, to reach out as much voters as possible and provide them with voting slips.
During his stay at the office, Radwan who is also a Trustee of Centre for Research and Information (CRI) said party activists need to draw a comparative assessment between the candidates before the voters presenting AL candidate’s proven track record.
Leaders and activists who were present there pledged to put in their best efforts to secure victory for mayoral candidate Atiqul Islam.
Awami League mayoral candidate for the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) election Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh on Monday said he will make sure that all civic services are delivered at people’s doorsteps if he is elected in the polls.
"There's no doubt that people have accepted our outline of development. If we get elected, we’ll deliver all the civic amenities at their doorsteps within 90 days," he said while carrying out electioneering in Demra area.
Pledging to take necessary measures to create a modern and vibrant Dhaka, the AL mayoral runner said newly-connected wards of DSCC will be provided with all the modern amenities. "We’ll start working setting a priority to build a well-governed, modern Dhaka."
He alleged that BNP is hatching conspiracies to make the election environment unstable.
"They (BNP) are trying to make the election environment unstable. They’ve resorted to evil politics through terror activities...they’re trying to manipulate the elections," said Taposh.
He further alleged that BNP activists are attacking themselves and blaming opponent candidates.
The AL candidate said people will give a befitting reply to ‘terrorist activities’ of BNP candidates through ballots on February 1.
BNP mayoral candidate for Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) polls Ishraque Hossain on Monday feared that a move is on to make the field empty before the February-1 voting as a case was filed against his supporters in connection with Sunday’s Gopibagh clash.
He urged the Election Commission to take steps for creating an equal scope for all candidates so that they can carry out electioneering and join voting peacefully.
Ishraque made the remarks while exchanging views with Jatiya Press Club members ahead of elections to Dhaka south and north city corporations billed for February 1.
Prime Minister’s ex-information adviser Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, Press Club president Saiful Alam, vice president Omar Farroque, treasurer Shyamal Dutta, former general secretary Syed Abdal Ahmed, joint secretaries general, Shahed Chowdhury, Mainul Alam and former joint secretary Ilias Khan, its senior members, Abdus Shahid, M Abdullah, and Kader Gani Chowdhury were, among others, present.
Speaking at the programme, Ishraque said, “As per our apprehension, a case was filed with Wari Police Station on Sunday night against our 50 identified leaders and activist and many other unidentified ones over the Gopibagh incident. Five of them were arrested this (Monday) morning.”
He further said, “We urge the Election Commission to create an equal scope for us so that we can conduct election campaign and join the election peacefully, and to check the incidents of attack. We also call upon them to prevent the move to make the field empty through attacks and cases what were done during the last general election.”
The BNP candidate said he had been carrying out electioneering peacefully before Sunday’s ‘attack’ on his supporters by the ruling party activists. “Even, I went to many camps of Awami League-backed councillor candidates during the campaign and exchanged greetings with them and sought their blessings.”
Narrating Sunday’s incident, he said the supports of Awami League-supported 41-No Ward councillor runner attacked on his activists from their camp without any provocation, leaving 12 his supporters and 3 journalists injured.
Ishraque urged the EC to take steps so that a peaceful atmosphere prevails until the voting process ends.
He also said Dhaka has turned into a worst liveable, unsafe and polluted city. “I’m a child of this city and I know its major problems. “So, I’ll do whatever necessary to turn Dhaka into a liveable, healthy and safe city if I’m elected mayor. I’ll also devote myself to serving the city dwellers and ensuring their welfare.”
The BNP candidate expressed his gratitude to journalists for their cooperation to his electioneering, and urged them to play an active role during the voting so that people can freely exercise their voting rights.
BNP standing committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain urged the EC to take measures so that people can reflect their opinion through voting and elect their mayors of their choice in a peaceful and congenial atmosphere.
He said though their party’s candidates are being subjected to attacks and harassments, the EC is not taking any step to prevent those and create a level-playing field. “We informed the Election Commission all the incidents, but still they didn’t act. It’s very unfortunate.”
He urged the EC to play a neutral role to hold a fair and credible election on February 1.
Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury said city polls should be held in a peaceful, fair and cheerful manner so that voters can cast their votes without any fear and favour.
He hoped that the media will play a positive role in holding a free, fair and credible election.
Press Club President Saiful Alam said the February-1 elections are very important as around 55 lakh voters, mostly educated, will exercise their right to franchise.
He hoped that the voters will be able to cast their votes for the candidates of their choice as it is their democratic right.
Saiful also said the future mayors will work for making a green, liveable, safe and dynamic Dhaka from traffic jams as per people’s hopes and aspirations.
Later, Ishraque also exchanged views with the leaders of Dhaka Reporters’ Unity (DRU) and Photojournalists’ Association.
The supporters of BNP’s Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) mayoral candidate Ishraque Hossain engaged in a clash with Awami League activists during electioneering in the city’s Gopibagh area on Sunday.
The clash that lasted for around 30 minutes left around 15 people, including a photojournalist of Somoy Television, injured.
Witnesses said the supporters of Awami League-backed councilor candidate Rokonuddin Ahmed and reserved women councillor candidate Lovely Chowdhury took position on a road near the main gate of Central Women’s College while Ishraque along with his supporters was moving to the area in a procession around 12:50pm.
Both sides raised slogans against each other and locked into an altercation.
At one stage, they attacked each other by throwing brickbats and chairs at each other.
The two sides fought a pitched battle until police intervened and brought the situation under control. The sounds of several blank shots were heard during the fight.
Duty officer of Wari Police Station Shila Akhter said they sent their force immediately after receiving information about the clash through a phone call on 999.
During the melee, Ishraque took shelter at his Gopibagh’s residence.
Talking to reporters, Ishraque later said ruling party men attacked them as part of their move to foil the elections.
The BNP candidate said he along with his supporters was peacefully returning to his Gopibagh house from Hatkhola via Tikatuli, but they were attacked suddenly from an under-construction building where there is an election camp of an Awami League councillor.
Ishraque’s follower Mamun said they sent about 14 injured BNP activists to different hospitals for treatment.
Besides, Somoy Television’s photojournalist Ashraful Islam was also injured in the clash.
AL councillor candidate Rokonuddin Ahmed alleged that Ishraque’s supporters attacked his election camp without any provocation, leaving his some activists injured.
He also claimed that BNP activists also fired eight rounds of bullets towards them, an allegation turned down by Ishraque.
At a press conference at his house, Ishraque said, “They (AL supporters) attacked us and fired shots at us. We think they’re trying to shift blame onto us by carrying out the attack which people won’t accept and believe.”
He also alleged that the OC of Wari Police Station is playing a biased role.
Ishraque said they informed police about their scheduled programme, but they did not take any step for ensuring their security.
He said the ruling party launched the attack as part of their evil efforts to spread panic among voters.
Ishraque urged his supporters to remain calm and not to be worried over the election atmosphere. “I call upon voters not to get confused. You will go to polling stations and cast your votes.”
The BNP candidate said he will file a case in connection with the incident since his many supporters were injured in it.
Last week, BNP’s mayoral candidate of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Tabith Awal was also attacked during electioneering at Gabtoli. BNP activists accused ruling Awami League-backed councilor candidate of carrying out the attack.
Awami League mayoral candidate for Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Atiqul Islam on Sunday promised to build a “modern, dynamic and healthy” Dhaka if he is reelected.
He spoke about a ‘three-dimensional plan’ to revamp the city while unveiling his election manifesto at a press conference at Lakeshore Hotel in the morning.
“My priority is not only to build a city for better living but also to work for developing the citizens’ lifestyle,” he said.
“I’ll make DNCC modern, dynamic, and healthy if reelected,” Atiqul said, adding that he will utilise his experience of the last nine months as DNCC mayor.
He promised to ensure safety of the citizens, and ample grounds and parks for games and sports. “I want our next generation to grow up healthy,” he added.
Atiqul also promised that he will take effective steps to curb corruption in different sectors.
He said that in order to control mosquitoes, the city corporation would work with all the organizations including its southern counterpart, WASA, Health Ministry, and neighbouring City Corporations to instill an integrated vector management (IVM) system as in developed countries.
Some other projects floated by Atiqul are the construction of open parks and modern playgrounds based on the area, and resource recovery facilities (RRF) in Aminbazar for waste management including energy generation from waste.
If reelected, he will take initiatives to ensure civic facilities for slum dwellers, restoration of water bodies after freeing them from grabbers, construction of modern public toilets, minimizing air pollution through modern technology and ‘Mist blower’, development of 'Ward Complex' for creating ward-based facilities and Tree Clinic for plant lovers and Pet Animal Clinic in Mirpur.
Atiqul also promised to take various initiatives for building a dynamic Dhaka, including creating employment and rehabilitation for hawkers, setting up new pedestrian overbridges with escalator facilities as part of road safety, separate lane for bicycles and cycle parking, introduction of transport for school, college and university students, as well as construction of underground and multi-storey parking facilities in busy areas of the city.
The mayor candidate also talked about structural development as well as technical development for modern Dhaka.
To modernize Dhaka, he will introduce a “Sobar Jonno Dhaka” (Dhaka for Everyone) app for smartphones to receive citizen complaints.
He will also introduce electric bus service to prevent air pollution and digital systems for registration of births and deaths, trade licenses and civic services.
Atiqul Islam was elected mayor of DNCC in February, 2019 by-election on an Awami League ticket.
The post fell vacant after Annisul Huq passed away on November 30, 2017.