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Ranpur city polls tempo begins to pick up

Ranpur city polls tempo begins to pick up

Ranpur city polls tempo begins to pick up

Ranpur city polls tempo begins to pick up

The northern city of Rangpur is expected to witness a three-cornered contest between the candidates of ruling Awami League (AL), its ally Jatiya Party (JP-Ershad), and opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), in the upcoming mayoral election. But the main contest will be between Nouka (Boat) and Langal (Plough), the election symbols of the AL and JP, respectively, feel Rangpur city residents.

The Rangpur City Corporation (RnCC) election will be held on December 21. The candidates of the country’s three major political parties have started campaigning by holding ward meetings and mass-contact programmes, to woo voters by making a slew of promises including that of modernising Rangpur city. Besides the three main contestants, there will be four others in the fray for the mayoral race, as independent candidates.

The first election to the city corporation under party banner was held on December 20, 2012. AL-backed candidate Sarfuddin Ahmed Jhantu became the first mayor of Rangpur, bagging 106,255 votes, defeating his nearest rival, Mostafizur Rahman Mostafa, by 28,450 votes.

The election campaign is beginning to pick up, with the holding of ward meetings and mass-contact programmes arranged by the mayoral candidates of three major political parties—AL, BNP and JP—at different places in the city. The campaigns are expected gather full steam after the election symbols are allocated on December 4.

Earlier, on Sunday, the election officials of Rangpur completed the scrutiny of the nomination papers for the mayoral and councillor posts in the upcoming polls.

After scrutiny, 288 candidates, including seven for the mayoral post, 218 for general councillor posts in all 33 wards, and 63 for reserved women councillor posts in 11 reserved wards were found eligible to take part in the polls. The seven valid mayoral post candidates are: AL-nominated Sarfuddin Ahmed Jhantu, JP-nominated Mostafizur Rahman Mostafa, BNP-nominated Kawser Zaman Babla, and independent candidates Selim Akhter, Hossain Mokbul Shahriar, ATM Golam Mostafa and Abdul Kuddus.

After talking to the voters of the Rangpur City Corporation, our local correspondent reports that the main contest will be between the Boat and Plough, election symbols of the AL and the JP, respectively.

Meanwhile, supporters of the BNP and its

candidate, Babla, told The Independent that if the polls were held in a free, fair and credible manner, the Paddy Sheaf, election symbol of the BNP, would emerge victorious.

About the preparation for the city polls, BNP candidate Babla said: “I am hopeful about my victory. If our supporters can carry out the campaign work smoothly, I will win in the polls.”

The candidates of the ruling AL and its ally, JP, too, are confident of victory.

The JP candidate considers Rangpur to be his party’s stronghold and expects voters to vote for his party’s symbol, the Plough.

The AL candidate exudes confidence about retaining his mayoral post.

When contacted, JP candidate Mostafa said he was optimistic about his victory.

AL candidate Jhantu expressed hope that the people of the city would again vote for him in the coming city polls, because of the many development projects taken up during his tenure.

According to the Election Commission, 393,994 voters, including 196,356 males, and 197,638 females, will cast their vote at 1,122 polling booths of 193 polling centres to elect 45 public representatives, including a mayor. As per the election schedule, the last date for the withdrawal of nomination papers is December 3 and the election symbols will be allocated on December 4.

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