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A total of 12 candidates will contest for mayor in the Rangpur City Corporation polls as the Jatiya Party presidium member Moshiur Rahman Ranga withdrew his candidacy from the election.

Earlier, the Election Commission gave the nod to all 13 candidates who had submitted their nomination papers to contest for the mayoral post.

Ranga went to the zonal election office of Rangpur on Thursday afternoon and withdrew his nomination from the poll slated for December 20.

Meanwhile, Monirul Islam, returning officer of the city corporation election, yesterday allotted poll symbols to 12 mayoral contestants.

Soon after getting allotment of poll symbols, the candidates began their campaign in the city.

Before withdrawing his nomination paper, Ranga at a press conference in Rangpur told reporters “As a leader of Jatiya Party, I must comply with the decision of the party's high-up. Therefore, I stepped aside from the contest."

Leaders and activists of the party, who mainly support Ranga, became aggrieved by his decision but hailed the party chairman's decision of expelling its two leaders -- Abdur Rouf Manik and Mostafizar Rahman Mostafa.

Manik, former organising secretary of Jatiya Party (JP) central committee, and Mostafa, former member secretary of JP Rangpur district unit, are contesting for mayor in the election.

Contacted, Manik said, he resigned from JP earlier. So, the decision of JP's presidium meeting would not affect his candidacy.

Mostafa said, “I believe the party chairman and its presidium members will realise the situation, and support my cause.”

Manik and Mostafa resigned from JP on November 11 along with 700 leaders and activists of the party's district unit.

The mayoral aspirants from Awami League include Firoz Kabir Chowdhury Gunjan, former general secretary of Rangpur Sadar upazila unit of AL, Sharfuddin Ahmed Jhantu, member of advisory committee of Rangpur district unit AL.

Other aspirants include independent candidates Mehedy Hasan and Ali Haydar Dulu, Kayser Zaman Babla, former president of Rangpur municipality unit BNP.

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