Saturday, December 12, 2015, Agrahayan 28, 1422 BS, Safar 29, 1437 Hijri

Municipal Polls In AL Vote-Bank
Shariatpur Sadar goes sans 'Boat' symbol
Mahabub Alam
Published :Saturday, 12 December, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 25

The upcoming municipal polls in the Awami League's (AL) vote-bank Shariatpur Sadar is going to be held without the mayoral candidate  showing off the ruling party symbol 'the Boat.'
After scrutiny, the Returning Officer (RO) of Shariatpur scrapped the nomination papers of AL-blessed mayoral candidate and former Chhatra League Senior Vice-President Rafiqul Islam Kotwal.
Later, AL President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued another letter certifying independent mayoral candidate Faruque Ahmed Talukder as the AL-contender. But the Election Commission (EC) dismissed the AL Chief's request as per the Municipal Electoral Regulations-2015. The regulations say that a party can nominate only one candidate. In case of more than one candidate, the candidature of both will be considered cancelled.
Independent candidate Faruque, however, submitted the certificate signed by the AL Chief to the Returning Officer and sought the Boat symbol on Tuesday.
Later, Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) and also the Returning Officer Abdullah Al Mamun sent a letter to the EC seeking a decision on the issue.
Assistant Secretary of the EC Rajib Ahsan said that a letter in this connection was sent to the RO on Thursday asking him not to allocate 'Boat' symbol to the independent contender.
A number of AL supporters of the municipal area said they were frustrated as they have no candidate left with the 'Boat' symbol.
One of them Ibrahim Khan, Organising Secretary of Sadar Thana unit of Chhatra League, said, "I still cannot believe that the candidature of Rafiqul Islam Kotwal has been nullified."
He blamed 'internal conspiracy' for the cancellation of the AL-blessed candidate.      
Meanwhile, the appeal lodged by Rafiqul Islam seeking to declare his nomination legal was rejected by the appeal authority.
Rafiqul Islam told the daily Observer on Friday that he will appeal to the High Court (HC) on Sunday. "I hope that the HC will declare my candidature valid," he said.
On another question, he said that the allegation for which his nomination was cancelled is not true. On the question of internal conspiracy, he said, "I do not have any idea, but it can be a conspiracy against me."

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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