Narayanganj City Corporation election candidates passed a busy day on Friday, the last day of electioneering, as voting begins tomorrow.
Two heavyweight candidates – Awami League-nominated mayoral candidate Selina Hayat Ivy and independent mayoral candidate Taimur Alam Khandaker – vigorously campaigned to woo voters and earn their support. Other candidates also ran campaigns.
Ivy talked to reporters at her residence in the morning, responding to various allegations Taimur had raised against her.
“The people are my power. Why would I take help from outsiders in the polls? I do not know who he [Taimur] referred to when he claimed I was taking assistance from outsiders,” she said.
When asked whether she was apprehending polls-time violence like the opposition, she said she was always against that.
“I do not think there will be violence. I have never perpetrated violence. Also, if there is violence, I would be the loser as voters will not be able to vote smoothly. I want a festive atmosphere on the polling day,” she said.
The Awami League candidate called on the law enforcement agencies to keep the situation under control on the voting day and also remain alert. She said she would definitely win by a large margin if there was a free and fair election.
Taimur, on the other hand, said he had many complaints concerning the polls but would still put his trust in the Election Commission. Addressing a press briefing at Missionpara area in the city, he said he had complained to the Election Commission about several matters, but the latter had not taken any measure.
“Ruling party leaders are staying in various hotels in the city. Some of them are also staying in the circuit house and the bungalow. But it is not permissible to use the bungalow or government cars for election purposes. This is a violation of the electoral code of conduct,” he said.
He also alleged ruling party leaders were trying to influence the polls.
On Thursday, several senior Awami League leaders, including presidium member Jahangir Kabir Nanak, held a meeting with the local deputy commissioner. Nanak later told journalists they had discussed ways to hold free and fair polls with the deputy commissioner.
But Taimur questioned the meeting on Friday, saying he thought it was unjust. “He [Nanak] created a smokescreen. We do not expect this from a senior leader.”
He also raised questions about whether there would be free and fair elections. “People think the Election Commission is ineffective. The commission’s acts are also like that. Yet, I want to put my trust in it.”