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Monday, March 2, 2015, Falgun 18, 1421 BS, Jamadi ul Awwal 10, 1436 Hijr

Govt strategy to restore normalcy in city thru polls
Published : Monday, 2 March, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 21

Anaet Shawon
The Awami League government has taken a strategy to restore normalcy in the capital city through the conduct of elections to the two city corporations of Dhaka.
A number of insiders of the ruling AL informed this correspondent about such strategy.
The polls have long been overdue due to complexities in connection with boundary demarcations. Now all hurdles have been removed and the Election Commission is also taking preparations to hold elections to the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) and the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC)
The government believes participation of the AL supporters and common people will bring festivity to the city which will remove the panicky situation created by BNP-Jamaat led alliance through enforcing non-stop blockade and frequent hartals.
Meanwhile, the announcement of the elections has created a sort of enthusiasm in the DCCs. Talking to The Daily Observer, AL leaders told that the elections would infuse dynamism into activities of the party leaders and activists as the common people have interests in the DCC polls.
However, the BNP-Jamaat may not officially participate in the elections but their leaders and businessmen will join the polls as the local body elections are non-partisan. AL leaders said that this would bring a big change in the landscape of city politics. An AL leader said, "The BNP failed to create turmoil in the capital before January 5 national polls but this time they have created panic through violence across the country and Dhaka. However people in the city have largely ignored hartals and blockades."
The government is keen to create an impression that the condition was under its control despite the blockade and hartals.  As many as a dozen of aspirants have already expressed their eagerness to contest the polls for the office of the mayor. Most of them are from the ruling Awami League, BNP, JSD, business community and other political platforms.
Besides, aspirants in the DCC polls started to make their presence felt through announcing their candidacies despite the fact that the EC was yet to declare the polls schedule.
Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad said, "We shall hold the elections on schedule."
However, the CEC did not confirm the time of the DCC elections. He said, "We can't say exactly when the DCC elections will be held but when it will be held we will wait for none, like the January 5 elections."
Meanwhile, the Awami League has nominated Annisul Huq, former chief of BGMEA and FBCCI, and Sayeed Khokon, son of former popular and successful Dhaka mayor Mohammad Hanif, as its mayoral candidates.
AL Presidium Member Kazi Zafarullah said, "As the country has been experiencing violence during the last two months, the DCC polls will help bring peace and normalcy among the people."
"People think that massive participation of the people in the electioneering will help bring normalcy in city life," he added.
City AL Organising Secretary Shahey Alam Murad said, "Local Government election means a festive occasion and large-scale participation of candidates. Activities of their supporters and common people will help bring peace in the city life despite all violent activities by BNP-Jamaat."
The government has urged the EC to hold DCC polls at a meeting of February 23. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at a cabinet meeting on February 16 instructed LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam to take necessary steps to hold the DCC elections.
On December 8 last year, she told the Cabinet that the elections would take place in early 2015.
The last election to an undivided DCC was held in April 2002. The tenure of the DCC expired in May 2007 and there was no election in seven years.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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