Although the Narayanganj city poll is a local body election, the central leaders of the two major political parties are focusing on national issues to woo voters.
During electioneering, the ruling Awami League leaders are bringing to the fore the BNP-Jamaat's alleged violence before and after the January 5, 2014 parliamentary polls.
BNP leaders, however, are pointing to the one-sided January 5 elections when more than half of the parliamentary seats were won uncontested by AL candidates.
AL mayoral aspirant Selina Hayat Ivy is campaigning in the city, reminding the voters of the development projects implemented during her five-year tenure.
BNP nominee Shakhawat Hossain Khan is calling voter's attention to the sensational seven-murder incident in 2014.
Ivy yesterday said, “I tried my best to ensure the city's development. Many development projects are underway. Please vote for me again so that I can complete my incomplete tasks.”
On the other hand, Shakhawat said the BNP was going to contest the December 22 city polls to “restore people's voting rights”.
“After the controversial and one-sided January 5 elections, people are now wondering whether they would be able to cast their votes safely. A wind of change has been blowing in Narayanganj against killing, abduction and in favour of restoration of democracy. So, we will win if the city elections are held freely,” he told journalists.
Ashim Kumar Ukil, AL cultural affairs secretary and coordinator of Ivy's electoral campaign, said they were attaching highest importance to the election.
“The Awami League thinks it is not a local government election, rather a national election as people from across the country is looking to it. The national issues would naturally dominate electioneering,” he told The Daily Star.
The AL during the polls campaign will highlight “BNP-Jamaat's violence and destruction” before and after the January 5 elections, he said.
The BNP, however, said people's voting rights have been snatched away through the January 5 elections. The party hoped that the government's good sense would prevail in holding the city polls in a free and fair manner.
BNP standing committee member Goyeswar Chandra Roy said their main target is to restore people's voting rights.
“The main challenge now is holding a free, fair and credible election. If the polls are held fairly and the results go against us, we will accept it. We just want a free and fair election. People want to express their resentment against the government through this election,” said Goyeswar, also the party's chief coordinator for the Narayanganj City Corporation polls.
People did not forget about the law and order in Narayanganj in last five years, especially the sensational seven-murder incident, he added.
20-PARTY TEAMS SANS JAMAAT
The BNP-led 20-party alliance yesterday formed three teams to conduct mayoral campaign for Shakhawat.
However, no Jamaat representative was included in any of the teams.
Talking to reporters at the BNP's Nayapaltan central office, Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said there is none from Jamaat in the teams as the party did not provide any name.