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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

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Aspirants in the Rangpur City Corporation election scheduled for December 20 have already started campaign, before finalisation of the candidatures.

Aspirants have to submit application for candidacy by November 18 and the Election Commission officials will scrutinise those on November 21 and 22.

The last day for withdrawal of candidacy is November 29.

Although officially non-partisan, the city corporation election would ultimately gain political colour, as mainly political leaders from major parties contest such polls, especially for the mayoral post, observers said.

Local leaders of Awami League (AL) and Jatiya Party (JP) are preparing for the election.

However, the ruling AL is yet to announce support for any mayoral candidate while JP sees a serious rift over the candidature.

Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is yet to take decision about letting any of its leaders contest the elections.

A few candidates from AL, including Shafiar Rafman Shafi, president of AL Rangpur city unit, Rashek Rahman, a member of AL Rangpur district unit, and Tusher Kanti Mondal, general secretary of AL Rangpur city unit, Chowdhury Khalequzzaman, advisory committee member of AL and former NBR chairman, have publicly expressed their desire to contest for the mayor post.

Sharfuddin Ahmed Jhantu, former lawmaker of JP and former chairman of Rangpur municipality, has also started campaign, to contest the election as an independent candidate.

BNP sources said the party command would have the final say about its participation in the December 20 election.

In the previous city corporation elections in Comilla and Narayanganj, BNP did not participate as their demands, including scrapping of voting through electronic voting machines (EVM) and deployment of army, were not met.

Earlier on Sunday, around 700 leaders and activists of Rangpur district committee of JP (Ershad) resigned en masse in protest against announcing party support to its Presidium Member Moshiur Rahman Ranga as the mayoral candidate in Rangpur City Corporation election.

Two candidates for the mayoral post -- AKM Abdur Rauf Manik, organising secretary of JP central committee and former mayor of Rangpur municipality, and Mostafizar Rahman Mostafa, Rangpur Sadar upazila chairman and member secretary of Rangpur district unit of JP, led the en masse resignation.

After submitting resignation, Manik and Mostafa announced forming of a new party named 'Trinamool Jatiya Party'.

After JP Chairman HM Ershad on November 6 announced support for Ranga in the RCC polls, Manik and Mostafa at a press conference the same day threatened to quit the party en masse if nomination of Ranga was not withdrawn by Saturday last.

In October, Ershad in a press release had said he would not extend support to any of the aspirants from the party in Rangpur City Corporation polls as it is a local level election.

On Monday, Mostafizar Rahman Mostafa resigned from the post of Rangpur Sadar Upazila Parishad chairman to participate in the Rangpur City Corporation election.

As many as 3 lakh 57 thousand and 742 voters in the city corporation will exercise their right to franchise to choose a mayor and 44 councillors, including 11 women, on December 20.

The government upgraded Rangpur municipality to a city corporation on June 28 this year.

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