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Narayanganj city polls held peacefully Hat-trick for Ivy Taimur concedes defeat, but alleges fraud

17 January 2022
Narayanganj city polls held peacefully   Hat-trick for Ivy   Taimur concedes defeat, but alleges fraud

Awami League candidate Dr Selina Hayat Ivy and her supporters flash victory sign after announcement of unofficial results in Narayanganj mayoral polls on Sunday. NN photo

Kazi Zahidul Hasan/ Noman Mosaref   :
Belying all speculation, incumbent Mayor Dr Selina Hayat Ivy scripted a new history on Sunday by scoring a hat-trick victory in the Narayanganj City Corporation (NCC) polls.
Ivy, who contested the Narayanganj mayor post with the Awami League ticket, bagged 161,273 votes with the 'boat' symbol, while her nearest contender Independent candidate Advocate Taimur Alam Khandaker with the 'elephant' symbol got 92,171 votes, according to the unofficial results.
She secured a third five-year term in office bucking anti-incumbency and staving off intra-party feud.
Local people said, Ivy made history in the NCC polls, as her people-centric politics makes her a true mass leader. Her clean image and development orientation works drew attention to the city people and so, she was re-elected city mayor again.       
Ivy cast her vote at Deobhog Shishu Bagh Government Primary School centre at around 9:30, while Independent candidate Advocate Taimur Alam Khandaker cast his vote at Islamia Kamil (MA) Madrasa centre in Masdair area of the city at around 10 am.
Earlier, voting of the NCC started at 8am and continued till 4pm without any break. Though there was a fear of violence and rigging, the voting of the NCC ended without report of any untoward incident.
Counting of votes began after the voting ended. Returning Officer Mahfuza Akhter started announcing the vote count of the centres from 6:45pm.
While visiting the Narayanganj city, long queues were seen at all polling centres as voters turned up to cast their votes braving cold weather and fear of Covid infection.
Most of the voters arrived at the polling centres without wearing masks and the authorities failed to maintain social-distancing protocol in the queues.
However, voters exercised their franchise in a festive mood using Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
 "I voted for Ivy as she wins the heart of Narayanganj people. She gains popularity for her strong stance against corruption and terrorism," Motahar Ali, a street vendor, told The New Nation.
"Not only me, people irrespective of politics, faith, and religion, cast and creed voted for her," he added.      
The election was closely watched across the country, as it was the last major polls under the outgoing Election Commission (EC).
Just after the unofficial result was announced, Ivy told journalists that she would do all work for the people of Narayanganj as she did before. Besides, I will speed up the ongoing development projects.
She also sought support from all to complete all the development projects timely.
Ivy also congratulates the people of Narayanganj for supporting her in the NCC polls.
The other candidates in the mayoral race were: ABM Sirajul Mamun (wall-clock) with 10,724 votes, Maulana Md Masum Billah (hand-fan) with 23,987 votes, Md Kamrul Islam (horse) with 1,305 votes, Md Jashim Uddin (banyan tree) with 1,209 votes, and Md Rashed Ferdous (wrist watch) with 1,927 votes.
The first election of Narayanganj City Corporation was held in 2011, and Awami League's 'rebel' candidate Selina Hayat Ivy won it bagging 65 per cent or 180,048 votes. Her rival, Awami League candidate Shameem Osman got 78,705 votes (28 per cent). In that election BNP withdrew candidature at the last moment.
In the second election held in 2016, Ivy contested as the Awami League candidate, winning the election with 174,602 votes. Her main rival that time was a little-known BNP leader, lawyer Sakhawat Hossain. He bagged 96,700 votes.
bdnews24.com adds: Taimur Alam Khandaker has conceded defeat in the Narayanganj mayor race, but alleged "election engineering" by the administration and "fraud through EVMs".
"I don't consider this defeat as a defeat," the BNP leader said at a news conference at his home in Masdair on Sunday night as his rival Salina Hayat Ivy was on course to win a third term.
"People came to vote in a festive mood, but they could not cast their ballots. The machines were slow, and they were engineered from the inside. Otherwise, the difference (of votes with Ivy) would not be so huge."
"It was a government versus people game; government versus Taimur Alam Khandaker."
Taimur expressed frustration over the police and administration's 'activities' before the polls. "People who had been busy campaigning were detained. Arrests began after Awami League leaders had come over from Dhaka."

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