Mayor Jahangir issued show-cause notice for derogatory remarks on Bangabandhu
An intense argument broke out between senior Awami League leaders Obaidul Quader and Iqbal Hossain Opu over Gazipur City Corporation Mayor Mohammad Jahangir Alam’s remarks on Bangabandhu and freedom fighters on Saturday night.
Even Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the Awami League president, has expressed her concern over the exchange, which took place at the party’s Dhanmondi office, party insiders told Dhaka Tribune.
Awami League Presidium Member Matia Chowdhury, Joint General Secretary AFM Bahauddin Nasim, Liberation War Affairs Secretary Mrinal Kanti Das, Organizing Secretary Afzal Hossain and Central Working Committee Member Awal Shamim, among others, were present at the time.
When General Secretary Obaidul Quader entered the office on Saturday night, lawmaker Iqbal Hossain Opu, also a central working committee member, asked him why he was not taking any action against GCC Mayor Jahangir..
“Quader bhai, you helped Jahangir win the election and now you are not taking any action against him,” party sources quoted Shariatpur 1 lawmaker Iqbal as saying.
After that, an enraged exchange took place between the two Awami League leaders over various issues, including their popularity in their respective constituencies.
Other leaders present there wasted no time in restraining Quader and Iqbal before the situation got out of control, following which they both left the office premises.
The news of the incident soon reached the ears of Awami League President Sheikh Hasina, who expressed concern over the issue.
Most senior leaders present during the altercation declined to comment on the matter.
Meanwhile, AFM Bahauddin Nasim told Dhaka Tribune on Sunday: “The Awami League is a democratic party. We do not only practice democracy in the country, but also in our party activities. Our party allows us to engage in debates and discussions.”
Mayor issued show-cause notice
On Sunday, the day after the incident at the party office, the Awami League officially asked GCC Mayor Jahangir, also Gazipur Awami League general secretary, to explain the derogatory remarks he had made on Bangabandhu and martyred freedom fighters.
The show-cause notice, signed by Obaidul Quader, was sent to Jahangir on Sunday, said Gazipur Awami League President Azmat Ullah Khan.
However, Jahangir has termed the allegations a conspiracy against him ahead of elections.
Mayor Jahangir said: “I have been asked to explain my stance within 15 days. I will respond in writing in due time and will abide by the decision given by the party chief and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.”
Jahangir alleged that his political opponent and some conspirators were spreading propaganda against him.
Meanwhile, some Gazipur Awami League leaders and activists blocked the Dhaka-Mymensingh Highway for two hours on Sunday afternoon demanding Jahangir’s expulsion from the party.
Protesting against the mayor’s meddling in journalists’ internal matters, some reporters also held a protest in front of Gazipur deputy commissioner’s office in the morning. The demonstrators claimed that Jahangir is unfit to hold such an important office.
Recently, videos of Mayor Jahangir making some derogatory comments on Bangabandhu and some martyred freedom fighters at a program went viral on social media.
Tension within the party became obvious on September 24, when the mayor’s supporters as well as opponents demonstrated by blocking the highway near Boardbazar.
Since then, party supporters of the rival groups have been staging protests and counter-protest programs in the city.