Narayanganj contenders use 'Victory Day' for poll propaganda
Masum Billah & Mujibul Haque Palash, Narayanganj bdnews24.com
Published: 2016-12-17 14:54:50.0 BdST Updated: 2016-12-18 15:54:25.0 BdST
Contenders for the Narayanganj city council polls, due on Dec 22, asked voters on Friday to ensure ' another victory' for them as the nation observed the Bijay Diwas or Victory Day.
The surrender of the Pakistan army on 16 Dec 1971 at the end of a bloody nine-month war was celebrated with much gusto in Narayanganj , as in the rest of the country.
But with city polls barely a week away, contenders on either side of the political aisle were seen campaigning as they observed the V-Day.
BNP mayoral candidate Shakhawat Hossain Khan paid homage to the 1971 heroes at the Victory Monument at Chashara More around 9am.
90 minutes later, Awami League mayoral aspirant Selina Hayat Ivy paid respects at the Bangabandhu statue in the city’s Awami league office.
Ivy, the outgoing Mayor of the industrial city, is seeking re-election.
Around 3pm in the evening, Ivy was found campaigning in the port police station area across the Sitalakya River. After she crossed the river, party supporters showered her with flower petals at Madangunj Bus stand.
After campaigning in Madanganj and Lakyachar, she moved to Mahmudnagar and Sonakanda areas of Narayanganj.
Late in the evening , she was still campaigning at Chowdhurypara, Babupara and Noaddha.
Pointing to her election symbol , Ivy said " This is the boat of victory, the boat of December. It is the boat of Narayanganj , so vote for the boat to keep the legacy of victory intact".
The outgoing Mayor promised to offer another great victory to her leader, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, on Dec 22.
"Narayanganj residents are all raising slogans in favour of the boat, young and old alike," Ivy claimed.
BNP Mayor aspirant Shakhawat Hossain began his own intense campaigning at Rail Line (Ward 21), Samarkhetro and Baghbari, after paying his respects at the Victory Monument.
In some municipal wards he was seen going door to door, promising many development initiatives he intends to launch for the river port city, if elected.
"If we have a free and fair election, if voters can reach polling stations and exercise their franchise, BNP will win," claimed Shakhawat.
He again reiterated the BNP demand for army deployment during the Dec 22 city polls.
Then in the evening, the BNP's women affiliates , led by the Mahila Dal local chief Afroza Abbas led a procession from Chashara More, seeking support for the party's candidates.
AL coalition campaigns for Ivy
Activists and leaders of the ruling coalition campaigned for Ivy and their other candidates.
One team, led by AL Presidium member Kazi Jafarullah and Metropolitan General Secretary Khokon Saha, campaigned in Shidhirganj wards 6, 7 and 8 on Saturday.
“The boat is the symbol of our independence,” said Kazi Jafarullah, “It is the symbol of our victory. The people of Shidhirganj will stick with the boat as they have in the past."
"Our victory is ‘inevitable’, he said.
Other Awami League delegations campaigned in Shitalokkha, Shonakanda and wards 16 and 17.
‘Vote to move the Jaggaddal stone’
A BNP team led by Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi campaigned for Sakhawat in the Shidhirganj area on Saturday evening.
“The government sits like a Jagaddal stone on the aspirations of the people ,” Rizvi said at a rally on the road. “Vote for Sakhawat Hossain Khan to get rid of that burden and bring back democracy.”
The BNP leader also raised the issue of voter fraud during the Upazila elections.
“There wasn’t that much fraud in the initial two rounds,” he said. “But once it was clear the BNP candidate would win a fair vote, they began stealing ballot boxes and keeping voters away from polling centres.”
Rizvi also called the Upazila, municipal and union Parishad elections ‘deadly and bloody’, saying “the people have lost their rights.”
Various other BNP leaders were campaigning in Shidhirganj wards 2 and 3, and other parts of the city.
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