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2,000 city polls nominations sold in nine days

62Nearly 2,000 aspirants have collected nomination forms against 126 posts in the three city corporations in Dhaka and Chittagong until Friday, reports BDNEWS24. Of them, 56 collected forms to run for mayor.
People will have to wait until Sunday to see how many submit the papers. The final list of candidates will be released on Apr 9 after scrutiny and withdrawal. The voting in Dhaka North City Corporation, Dhaka South City Corporation and Chittagong City Corporation will take place on Apr 28. The local government election is officially non-partisan but parties can support candidates, raising tension in Bangladesh’s politics. The undivided Dhaka City Corporation was under the BNP’s control with Vice-Chairman Sadeque Hossain Khoka being the mayor.
The BNP-backed M Manjur Alam was the mayor of Chittagong City Corporation. The party, which boycotted the last general election claiming it would not be fair under the Awami League government, has not formally endorsed the city polls. But BNP leaders have been collecting nomination papers and top leaders hinted that the party is joining the polls. Going a step further, Chittagong BNP has announced to back Manjur again.
Media reports say the Awami League has decided to back Sayeed Khokon for Dhaka South mayoral fight and Annisul Huq for Dhaka North. Khokon, son of late Dhaka mayor Mohammad Hanif, is the Organising Secretary of the ruling party’s Dhaka City unit and Annisul is a businessman.
The unit’s Joint General Secretary and independent MP Haji Mohammad Salim collected nomination papers but he seems to have pulled himself out by going to India. Former Awami League MPs Sarah Begum Kabari and Golam Maula Rony have collected nomination papers for Dhaka North and Dhaka South respectively.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s Adviser Abdul Awal Mintoo has bought nomination papers to fight in Dhaka North mayor election. For Dhaka South, the party’s Dhaka city unit Convener Mirza Abbas, former member secretary Abdus Salam, International Affairs Secretary Asaduzzaman Ripon and jailed leader Nasiruddin Ahmed Pintu have collected papers.
Former president and Bikalpadhara Bangladesh chief AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury’s son Mahi B Chowdhury has bought nomination form for Dhaka North. Form for Nagorik Oikya Convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna, arrested on sedition charges, has also been collected. Jatiya Party-backed aspirants, Presidium Member Bahauddin Ahmed Babul and Saifuddin Ahmed Milon, collected nomination papers for Dhaka North and Dhaka South respectively.
Boby Hajjaj, sacked adviser of Jatiya Party Chairman Hussein Muhammad Ershad, also collected nomination form to fight for Dhaka North mayor’s office. Aspirants backed by some other parties, including the Leftists, have also collected the papers.
In Chittagong, Awami League is backing AJM Nasir Uddin. Returning Officer Shah Alam said 26 aspirants have taken forms to fight for Dhaka North mayor’s post. As many as 750 have collected papers to fight for 36 posts of general councillors and 151 for 12 reserved wards. In Dhaka South, 30 mayor aspirants collected nomination papers, Returning Officer Mihir Sarwar Morshed said. For the 57 posts of general councillors, 1,041 collected nomination papers. The number is 199 for 19 reserved wards. Show cause notice to 86 aspirants.
The Election Commission has served show-cause notices on 86 aspirants of the city corporations in Dhaka for violating electoral code of conduct. They include mayor aspirants Ekhlas Uddin Molla and Shamsul Alam Chowdhury. They have been ordered to explain the reason of not removing posters and billboards as part of advance campaign.