Azmat Ullah Khan, the Awami League candidate, expressed his satisfaction with the election environment and confidence about winning the Gazipur City Corporation poll.
”With deep faith in Allah, I would like to say that the boat symbol will win the election. The public will win by voting for the 'boat' and establish the city corporation free of corruption they [voters] always wanted," Azmat told reporters after casting his ballot at the Darus Salam Madrasa centre in Tongi at 8:50 am Thursday.
“You must have noticed the festive atmosphere in Gazipur regarding the city corporation election. Thousands of people gathered and queued at the poll centres in the morning.”
Gazipur residents are choosing their city corporation representatives for the third time. In the last two terms, people were only frustrated because they did not see benefits, said the Awami League nominee.
“They [voters] are waiting with hope. I thank them for queuing here in the morning.”
Analysts expect a three-way battle in the Gazipur poll with Azmat Ullah being the key contestant.
He ran for mayor in 2013 but lost to the BNP candidate by a gap of 100,000 votes. He failed to bag the Awami League nomination in the 2018 election.
The BNP is not contesting the poll formally but independent candidate Shahnur Islam Rony has ties to the party as his father is a former BNP member. Rony’s uncle Hasanuddin Sarkar contested the mayoral election in 2018 as a BNP nominee and lost to Zahangir Alam of the Awami League.
Zahangir had to step down from the mayoral post due to controversial statements he made before completing his term. He was pardoned by the party but did not get the nomination. Later, the Awami League expelled him after he submitted a nomination application in defiance of the party's decision.
The Election Commission scrapped his nomination for being a guarantor for defaulted bank loans.
However, the EC has approved the nomination of his mother, Zayeda Khatun.
Altogether the election has five contestants nominated by political parties and three independent contestants.