That Annisul Huq was a visionary businessman is an incontestable statement. He was one of the forerunners of the country's ready-made garment industry.
That he was a charismatic presenter is also undeniable. It was in the age of BTV being the only television channel in the country when he made a permanent impression in people's hearts as a TV show host with a glittering smile.
He was already a popular figure in Bangladesh when he decided to contest the mayoral election for Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) in April 2015.
But the general public know very little about what inspired Annisul Huq to turn Dhaka into a clean and livable city. What had prompted the man to appear on the scene of a mayoral contest?
Two years ago, when he took office as the first DNCC mayor, Annisul shared with the Dhaka Tribune that it was Awami League Advisor and Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed and Awami League Presidium Member Lt Col (retd) Muhammad Faruq Khan who first approached him about contesting the polls on the ruling party’s ticket.
The two senior leaders conveyed the message from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that she wanted Annisul to contest the mayoral election.
Now, as the citizens of Dhaka North come to terms with the premature death of their mayor barely two years into his term, the Dhaka Tribune spoke to Tofail Ahmed to learn more about the matter.
“Following the direction of the prime minister, I invited him (Annisul) to my office before the DNCC mayor election,” Tofail Ahmed said.
“We had a successful discussion about his mayoral candidacy on that day. Learning about the PM's willingness to let him contest the DNCC election under the banner of Awami League, Annisul confirmed to me that he was prepared to contest the election.”
During the meeting, Annisul shared his plans for the city, and how the Dhaka North zone could be made liveable.
“Annisul's plans and proposals for the city's development were outstanding," Tofail recalled.
On March 23, 2015, Annisul collected the nomination paper and told reporters that he wanted to provide “the best possible services for his constituents” as the DNCC mayor.
He expressed gratitude to Sheikh Hasina for her endorsement.
“I have always been diligent about my work, whatever it was. It is perhaps that reputation that got me [Hasina’s] support,” he said.
“We need to broaden the reach of our services and increase the volume to reach more people. My focus will be to enhance the development of Dhaka. If the people believe me to be honest and hard working, then I ask them for their vote.”