BNP mayoral candidates for the two Dhaka cities Tabith Awal and Ishraque Hossain on Friday paid homage to former Dhaka north city mayor Annisul Huq, who was elected from the Awami League, at his grave in the capital’s Banani.

Ishraque is running for the Dhaka south city mayor office and Tabith for the Dhaka north city’s.

Tabith had also run against Annisul in the 2015 city elections and boycotted the polls on allegation of widespread vote rigging.

Tabith and Ishraque together went to the Banani Graveyard in the morning to pay respects at the grave of Arafat Rahman Koko,  younger son of the BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia.

They later visited Annisul’s grave and placed a wreath on it.

Annisul, a businessman-turned-politician, won the Dhaka north city mayoral polls in the first elections to the bifurcated city corporations in 2015.

Annisul passed away in November 2017 while undergoing treatment at a London hospital.

BNP vice-chairman Mohammad Shahjahan, publicity secretary Shaiduddin Chowdhury Annie, among others, accompanied Tabith and Ishraque when they visited Annisul’s grave.

From the Banani Graveyard, both Tabith and Ishraque went to their respective constituencies for conducting their election campaign.

Tabith, addressing a roadside gathering near Lutfun Tower in Badda, alleged that the government was hatching a conspiracy to eliminate him from the election race.

‘They are making attacks on us, going to court to get me out of the election race as we have garnered wave of supports from voters,’ he said.

‘We won’t quit the election race despite the obstacles,’ he said.

Tabith later conducted electioneering in Banasree and Karwan Bazar areas.

Addressing a rally at Karwan Bazar in the afternoon, Tabith said that an atmosphere of fear was created and voters were now afraid of speaking in favour of the BNP.

‘Voters are even afraid to come to me as they fear that Awami League men might mark them,’ he said, adding that his victory in the February 1 elections would help end this atmosphere of fear.

Dhaka north city’s AL mayoral candidate Atiqul Islam, who has created a social media buzz, appeared as a cricketer on Friday.

He went to Gulshan Youth Club during his campaign in the morning when a cricket match was about to begin.

Atiqul, with the gear of a batsman, came to the pitch and hit three boundaries off 10 balls before being bowled out by a spinner.

Talking to journalists after returning to the pavilion, Atiqul said that many youths were now suffering from depression as they were now taking drugs instead of engaging in sports.

He said that he would build adequate playgrounds if elected in the polls.

Atiqul distributed leaflets in the area seeking votes for him.

BNP’s mayoral candidate for the Dhaka south city Ishraque Hossain said that he would announce his election manifesto on January 27, incorporating his plans for development, mosquito control, waste management and other services for the city dwellers.

Speaking at a rally after Jumma prayers at the Faridabad Jamiya Arabia Emdadul Ulum Madrassah mosque, he said that the problems of city dwellers, coordination of works and plans to make the city mosquito-free and a plan for a proper waste management system would be elaborated in his manifesto.

He said that the ruling Awami League, running the government without being elected, had no accountability to the voters and that was why it failed to develop a liveable Dhaka city.

‘I seek votes for me as they [Awami League] will not do anything for the city dwellers,’ he said further.

Speaking at a rally at Garia Math in Wari, AL mayor candidate for the Dhaka south city Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh said that he wanted to implement a grand plan to turn the city into a modern one by ensuring improved civic services to the city dwellers.

He conducted his election campaign in Wari area.

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