AL’s Black Rose fails to bloom

Central’s hectic campaign falls short of people

The Awami League high command had set up its campaign office at the Black Rose hotel in the city’s Uttara and made all-out efforts to secure win for the party mayoral favourite in the Gazipur city polls, but all in vain.
Leaders of AL and its different associated bodies swarmed the hotel, just 200 metres from the Gazipur City Corporation (GCC) area, either for campaign planning or to make their senior leaders happy, party insiders said.
Communications Minister Obaidul Quader and State Minister for LGRD and Cooperatives Jahangir Kabir Nanak were the AL’s campaign coordinators in the GCC polls.
As the electoral rules prohibited ministers campaigning for the party-backed candidates, the two ministers chose the hotel to set up the party’s campaign office. There they held meetings regularly and gave necessary directives to their fellow party men for campaigning.
A number of AL lawmakers, leaders and former Chhatra League men including Whip Mirza Azam, party leaders Alauddin Nasim, Enamul Haque Shamim, former BCL leaders Liaqat Sikder, Sahajada Mohiuddin, and Mahfuzul Haider Chowdhury Roton; and BCL General Secretary Siddique Nazmul Alam, among others, assisted the two ministers.
AL Joint General Secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif, AL President Sheikh Hasina’s special envoy for the polls Abdur Rahman MP and Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury MP also worked from the hotel.
The AL had assigned more than 60 lawmakers and some central leaders to work for the party mayoral favourite Ajmat Ullah Khan. Of them, 57 lawmakers worked in as many wards of the GCC.
The lawmakers included AL stalwarts Amir Hossain Amu, Tofail Ahmed and Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim.
The ruling party had divided the Gazipur city into four parts and entrusted four leaders — Abdul Mannan, BM Mojammel Haque, Abu Sayeed Al Mahmud Swapan and Sujit Roy Nandi — with the job of monitoring the lawmakers’ activities. AL Organising Secretary Ahmed Hossain coordinated their work.
Several hundred leaders of Awami Jubo League, Swechchhasebak League and Chhatra League also campaigned for Ajmat Ullah Khan either by staying in the GCC area or visiting the city regularly.
Some female teams of BCL and Jubo League also canvassed for Ajmat, but all their efforts proved futile as the AL favourite lost to his rival MA Mannan by a huge margin.
AL insiders said the party did not engage such a huge number of leaders in any particular election since its inception in 1949.

Source: The Daily Star

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