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Sylhet Mayor Ariful withdraws candidature at party’s ‘directive’

Sylhet City Corporation mayor Ariful Haque Choudhury on Tuesday withdrew his presidential candidature from the forthcoming Sylhet district BNP council

Sylhet City Corporation mayor Ariful Haque Choudhury on Tuesday withdrew his presidential candidature from the forthcoming Sylhet district BNP council after he was asked to do so by the BNP high-ups.

Mayor Ariful came up with this announcement on Tuesday afternoon during a press conference at a community center in the city’s Nagarpara area. In a written statement, the BNP leader claimed he removed himself from the presidential race at directives from the BNP top-brass.

“BNP is working hard to build up the party around the country in a democratic manner, and so I decided to contest in the council for the president post as a BNP activist. Within a span of a week, I was able to revive 18 organisational units in Sylhet district. But today I have made this sacrifice for the BNP activists and the people,” Ariful said in the briefing.

Many district leaders claimed that a large faction of the party is now led by the BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s advisor Khandaker Abdul Muktadir. The majority of the leaders in different units are from his camp. So, Ariful decided to compete as the president to bring a balance of power in the party. But eventually he was forced to withdraw his candidature, they added.

When contacted, Ariful Haque told that “I do party politics. I am always dedicated to the party. I have withdrawn my candidature from the president post at the behest of party high-ups. I have no comment beyond this.”