City polls: BNP interviews candidates; not finalised yet

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Staff Reporter:

BNP’s nomination board on Sunday interviewed the party’s nine nomination seekers, but could not finalise its mayoral candidates for the upcoming Khulna and Gazipur city polls.

The party may announce the names of its two chosen candidates for the two city polls by a day or two, BNP chairperson’s media wing member Sayrul Kabir Khan told reporters after the meeting.

The party’s nomination board, comprising BNP standing committee members, started the interview around 5:30 pm with their first meeting with Khulna city general secretary Shafiqul Islam Mona, one of three mayoral nomination aspirants for Khulna city polls.

They also interviewed existing mayor Moniruzzaman Moni and Khulna city BNP president Nazrul Islam Monju.

Later, the BNP stranding committee members interviewed six party nomination aspirants–current mayor and party vice chairman Prof MA Mannan, executive committee member Hasanuddin Sarkar, Sramik Dal executive president Salauddin Sarkar, Gazipur district unit JCD president Sharfat Hossain and local BNP leaders Shawkat Hossain Sarkar and Abdus Salam.

Though Mannan’s son M Manzurul Karim Rony collected BNP’s nomination paper, he could not appear before the nomination board since he is staying abroad.

Party insiders said the BNP standing committee members could not finalise the two candidates as there are differences of opinion among them.

A BNP senior leader said the party had a plan to pick Hasanuddin Sarkar as BNP’s mayoral candidate for Gazipur. But physical conditions of both MA Mannan and Sarkar are not in a good shape, and it will be difficult for the party to win Gazipur election with such elderly candidate as Awami League is likely to field a young contender like its Gazipur city unit general secretary Jahangir Alam.

“So, the standing committee members are in a fix to finalise the mayoral candidate for Gazipur polls. They’ll take the decision after an elaborate discussion,” the BNP leader told UNB.

He said their party also had a decision to give Nazrul Islam Manju party nomination for Khulna city mayoral polls, but he declined to contest the election, and urged the nomination board to pick current Moni as the party candidate again.

Last week, Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda announced that the elections to Gazipur and Khulna city corporations to be held on May 15.

According to the election schedule, the deadline for the submission of nomination papers is April 12, while the dates for scrutinising those are April 15 and 16, and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is April 23.

BNP candidates Moni and Prof Mannan were elected mayors in Khulna and Gazipur polls respectively in the 2013 polls.unb

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