Deferment of city polls sought

Atiqul backs calls

17 January 2020

Atiqul Islam, the Awami League's mayoral candidate for Dhaka North, has urged the Election Commission to defer the polls due to the Saraswati Puja.
"People following different religions live in Bangladesh having the right to celebrate their religious festivals. I believe the voting date should be deferred, if needed," Atiqul said at a rally in Mirpur on Thursday.
"I urge the EC to defer the election day, if possible. No-one should be barred from performing their religious duties."
The Election Commission is preparing to hold the Dhaka city election on Jan 30 with the candidates already running their campaigns.
Bangladesh Puja Udjapon Parishad and the Hindu, Buddhist, Christian Unity Council also demanded a change to the voting schedule, but the EC refused to budge.
On Thursday, lawyer Ashok Kumar Ghosh filed an appeal with the Appellate Division over the date of the election after the High Court rejected his writ petition calling for the polls to be rescheduled.
Dhaka University students have launched protests calling for the EC to defer the voting, but the authorities are adamant to go ahead with the election.
Atiqul denied the allegation against him of preventing the opponent candidate from running their campaign. "If it was me or my leaders and activists giving orders, there would not be any poster of Tabith Awal seen in the city," he said. "I would request my leaders and activists not to tear any poster, not to prevent anyone to run campaign. I welcome them to run their campaigns; if necessary, I'll hang their posters myself."
"The Awami League believes in democracy. I urge everyone to wait until Jan 30 and see whom the people elect."

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