With the attack on a BNP Mayoral aspirant, the electioneering in the polls-bound Dhaka north and south city corporations heated up on Tuesday.
As just 11 days left for the voting, all the mayoral and councillor contenders carried out electioneering in the two cities and tried to woo voters with lofty promises.
The ruling party candidates are urging voters to cast votes for them for maintaining the pace of development in the city while the BNP ones are trying to convince the voters by depicting failures of the government and the previous city authorities in ensuring civic amenities and good governance.
BNP’s mayoral candidate of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) election Tabith Awal came under attack after he started electioneering in the city’s Gabtoli area on Tuesday.
Witnesses said a group of people started throwing brickbats towards Tabith and his supporters around 11: 15am when they reached Bajarpara in Gabtoli area for election campaign, leaving Tabith and 14 of his followers injured.
Tabith alleged that Mujib Sarwar Masum, an Awami League-backed commissioner candidate from ward No 9, led the attack.
However, Tabith continued his electioneering even after the attack.
Talking to reporters while carrying out electioneering in the city’s Kalyanpur area, Tabith said the supports of Sarwar equipped with arms, rods and sticks attacked them from behind.
He said the ruling party supporters also threw brick chips and eggs at them.
“They attacked us from behind like cowards. They launched the attack targeting me. This is a very dangerous matter that the attack was made in front of some police officers,” the BNP candidate observed.
He also said the ruling party men carried out the attack as they have become unnerved seeing the mass wave created in favour of ‘Sheaf of Paddy’, the election symbol of BNP. “We didn’t launch a counter attack as we want to maintain peace.”
Tabith said though he sustained physical injuries and pain, he is still very strong morally. “They won’t be able to suppress us by carrying out attacks as we continue to conduct campaign peacefully.”
Meanwhile, Tabith lodged a complaint with the returning officer about the attack saying it was made with an attempt to kill him.
He demanded the withdrawal of Darussalam Police Station officer-in-charge as he said the incident would not happen had the police played an active role.
Meanwhile, ruling party’s DNCC mayoral candidate Atiqul Islam voiced doubt about the attack on Tabith saying BNP atavists may create the trouble in the name of attack on their candidate.
He came up with the remarks while speaking at an election rally on Beraid Muslim High School ground in the city’s Badda area.
Atiqul called upon the voters in the area to reelect him the DNCC mayor for ensuring development of their roads and resolve carious problems.
He also made various promises to develop the area, including widening roads and taking steps to remove waterlogging.
Later, he carried out the electioneering in different areas of Badda and sought votes for the “Boat”, the election symbol of Awami League.
Awami League’s Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) polls candidate Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh conducted hectic campaign in the old part of Dhaka today and urged the voters to elect him mayor for the development of the city.
He claimed that that existing DSCC mayor Sayeed Khokon has extended his support to him though he cannot conduct campaign for him due to the election code of conduct.
During his electioneering at Roysaheb Bazar, Taposh said their party’s leaders and activists are unitedly conducting election campaign in favour of him.
Rejecting BNP leaders’ comment that a mass wave has created in favour of Sheaf of Paddy, he said the city dwellers are in favour of AL candidates for the sake of development. “BNP has taken part in the polls as part of their movement and to free their leader (Khaleda Zia) not for development of the city. We’re working to serve people and develop the city.”
Taposh said BNP is illogically opposing the EC’s decision of using f the EVMs in the polls while people have warmly accepted the technology.
He also promised he will work for the restoration of Dhaka’s tradition and turn it into a beautiful, dynamic, well-governed and developed city with various effective plans if he is elected mayor.
Taposh said he is getting overwhelming response from voters, and he believes that people will cast their votes in favour of him on February 1.
Meanwhile, BNP’s DSCC mayoral candidate Ishraque Hossain carried out campaign in the city’s Demra and Jatrabari areas.
He started his campaign on the 12th day on Tuesday from in front of Hossain Plaza in Demra area together with BNP leaders and activists, including its standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain.
Speaking at a wayside rally there, Ishraque urged voters to give their verdict in favour of him to turn Dhaka into a liveable city with all civic amenities.
He said people are now united against the ‘misrule and corruption’ of the current government, and they will cast their votes for “Sheaf of Paddy’ foiling all plots.
Referring to the attack on Tabith, he said the ruling party will not be able to suppress people by carrying out attacks and issuing threats.