Gazipur’s suspended mayor Zahangir gets back Awami League membership

The Awami League had earlier announced a general amnesty for members who had been expelled for contesting in election without party consent

Published : 21 Jan 2023, 08:01 PM
Updated : 21 Jan 2023, 08:01 PM

Gazipur’s Zahangir gets back AL membership , bdnews24.comZahangir Alam, the suspended mayor of Gazipur who lost his Awami League post for controversial remarks on Bangabandhu and the Liberation War martyrs, has got back his party membership.

Sayem Khan, deputy office secretary of the ruling party, said on Saturday that General Secretary Obaidul Quader signed the letter informing Zahangir about the latest development on Jan 1.Zahangir confirmed receipt of the letter. He thanked party chief Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for letting him do politics again.Zahangir Alam, the Gazipur City Corporation mayor expelled by the Awami League over his remarks on Bangabandhu and Liberation War martyrs, claims he is the victim of a ‘conspiracy'.

Zahangir became the first mayor of the Gazipur City Corporation in the 2013 election. He ran under the Awami League’s boat symbol in 2018 and won another term. He was also the general secretary of the Gazipur Metropolitan Awami League.

The Awami League expelled him in November 2021 for the “breach of organisational discipline and working against party interests” after an audio of his comments spread in late September. The local government ministry suspended him as mayor.

A man, purportedly Zahangir, is heard making derogatory comments in the audio clip on the three million martyrs and Bangabandhu’s role in the war. Awami League activists filed at least two cases against him over the remarks.

This was the first time a sitting mayor was expelled by their party in the five years of mayoral elections to the city corporations with candidates directly nominated by the political organisations. The parties could only back a candidate previously. 

Zahangir was at the centre of controversy as mayor on at least two previous occasions. Before the government-approved rapid tests for COVID-19 amid the pandemic, he brought 50,000 testing kits from China, saying that “lives, not rules, come first”.

He also announced the opening of mosques for prayers before the government ended a ban on gatherings at places of worship amid a coronavirus lockdown.

The High Court issued a contempt of court rule against Zahangir in a case over land ownership.