Eying the maximum ward councillor posts alongside all the mayoral ones, BNP was learned to have formed two separate committees for Dhaka North City Corporations (DNCC) and Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) to ensure one party-blessed candidate at every ward of the two cities.
BNP insiders said the committees will finalise two lists — one for the DSCC and another for the DNCC — of the party’s potential councillor candidates and talk to the rebel ones so that they withdraw their nominations by April 9, the last date for withdrawal of nomination.
According to the sources, a committee, headed by BNP’s Dhaka city unit convener and its mayoral aspirant Mirza Abbas, has been constituted to pick the party’s councillor candidates to contest the DSCC polls.
A BNP leader close to Abbas said the city BNP chief has started making a list of the party’s prospective candidates and will complete it within a couple of days. “It’ll be finalised after discussions with all the aspirants submitted nominations and ward unit BNP leaders,” he said wishing not to be named.
Another committee, led by BNP joint secretary general Barkatullah Bulu, has been formed to prepare the list of the potential councillor candidates to contest the DNCC. BNP Dhaka city unit member secretary Habibunnabi Khan Sohel and city leaders MA Quayum and SA Khalek will assist Bulu.
Contacted, Bulu said, “Our party will extend support to only one candidate at every ward. So, we’ll request other party men to withdraw their nominations.”
He said though city polls are non-partisan ones, they are hopeful of being able to ensure single party candidate at every ward of the two cities in the capital.
According to Election Commission information, a total of 705 councillor aspirants submitted nomination papers in the DSCC while 629 in the DNCC.
Another city BNP leader who also preferred anonymity said BNP candidates are up against more rebels than those from their political arch Awami League.
He said more than one party aspirant submitted nominations at every ward of the two cities. At some wards, the number is much higher, prompting the party high command to form the committees to negotiate with all the aspirants to ensure single BNP contender at all the wards.
“It’s quite natural to have more than one party aspirant at every ward as BNP is a big party. I hope those who will not get party support withdraw their nominations in the interest of the party,” said BNP standing committee member Lt Gen (retd) Mahbubur Rahman.
He also said BNP leaders and activists will work together for the candidates who will get support from the party putting aside their differences and conflicts.
A leader engaged in making the list of councillor candidates said the conflict between the supporters of Abbas and Sadeque Hossain Khoka is the main reason behind having more than one aspirant at every ward.
While preparing the lists, he said, the party will take into account their activities and role during the movement, dedication to the party, popularity and image.
According to him, the party is giving special importance to councillor elections as it thinks if the opposition-backed councillors can come out successful in maximum wards that will help strengthen the party at the grassroots level and intensify the movement in the city after the polls.