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AL sees major positives in Rangpur defeat

  • Published at 10:35 am December 23rd, 2017
  • Last updated at 07:07 pm December 23rd, 2017
AL sees major positives in Rangpur defeat
Despite its candidate suffering a massive defeat in the Rangpur City Corporation (RpCC) polls held on Thursday, Awami League believes it won on three distinctive issues. The three issues are-- BNP's allegation of unfair and biased election under a partisan government being proven wrong, maintaining the credibility of the Election Commission and continuing warm relationship with Awami League's political ally Jatiya Party (JaPa). Several Awami League policy makers feel that their gains on the three issues will greatly help the party in the political arena in the future. According to them, the defeat of their candidate in the RpCC polls will not impact the next general elections. Hence, they are not bothering to take the defeat into account right now. JaPa mayoral aspirant Md Mustafizur Rahman Mostafa registered a landslide victory in the polls, bagging 160,489 votes, while his nearest contender Awami League-backed Sharfuddin Ahmed Jhantu got 62,400 votes. Meanwhile, BNP-backed mayor aspirant Kawsar Zaman Babla received 35,136 votes. The ruling party leaders said that Awami League wanted to restore the culture of an inclusive election in the country through ensuring the participation of all registered political parties. And following the Comilla and Rangpur city polls, the Awami League has managed to do just that. And, this is why the party is terming its defeat in the RpCC election a “victory”. It is also considering the election a positive sign for democracy. Initially the ruling party leaders held internal disputes responsible for the defeat. Rangpur being a stronghold of JaPa is the second reason for the polls upset, they added. When contacted, Awami League Presidium Member Kazi Zafarullah said: “Those reasons caused the defeat of our candidate. Intra-party conflict might be behind it (defeat) as well.” “The RpCC election was a local government election. Many issues, expectations and achievements take centre stage in such polls,” he further added. Faruk Khan, another presidium member of the party, told this correspondent that he was happy despite their candidate's defeat. “We want to reinstate the trend of free, fair and neutral polls in Bangladesh, and the RpCC polls succeeded in that. Though the Awami League-endorsed candidate was defeated, we think we have won as every party participated in the polls,” he said. Faruk Khan added that the BNP's allegations of the impossibility of organising a free, fair and impartial election under a partisan government have been proven wrong. Addressing the huge margin of votes between the JaPa and the Awami League candidates, he said: “BNP activists and leaders cast their ballots for Mostafa as they sensed certain defeat of their candidate. “The reason of this defeat (of the Awami League candidate) needs to bel scrutinised. The possibility of a factional feud should also be probed.” Commenting on the matter, Awami League Joint General Secretary Abdur Rahman said: “Jhantu served as the RpCC mayor in the previous term. The issue of anti-incumbency by the Rangpur city dwellers also played an important role in the election result, as he vied for the mayoral post again.” He added: “Local government polls embody various issues. So, the results of the RpCC polls will not impact the national elections.” The Awami League leader however termed unacceptable the vote margin in the polls. On the other hand, the ruling party Organising Secretary Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, said: “People of the Rangpur city preferred emotion over conscience, leading to the defeat of Awami League. “Rangpur is the locality of JaPa Chiarman HM Ershad. He conducted the election campaign using his emotion, and it influenced the locals to vote for his candidate.” “JaPa also spread propaganda that its candidate had backing from the Moha Jote. If he wins, it will be considered a victory for a mayoral aspirant endorsed by Sheikh Hasina,” he added. The senior ruling party leader also alleged that a massive propaganda campaign was carried out against Awami League's candidate ahead of the polls. “Top leaders of the ruling party could not participate in the election campaign since most of them were either lawmakers or ministers, thereby failing to counter the propaganda,” he claimed. The article was first published on Bangla Tribune
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