Eight people -- four businessmen, three teachers and a poet -- yesterday collected forms from the Awami League seeking party ticket for Dhaka North City Corporation mayor race.
No AL leader was among them and yesterday was the first day of the sale of AL forms. The last day is tomorrow.
The four businessmen are: Atiqul Islam, former president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, HBM Iqbal, chairman of Premier Bank Ltd, Adam Tamizi Haque, managing director of Haque Group of Industries, and Helal Uddin, a director of the Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Iqbal is a former AL lawmaker, but does not hold any post in the party now.
Three teachers who collected the forms are Jobaer Alam, a Dhaka University teacher and also the editor and publisher of Bangladesh Today, Forhad Hossain, principal of Monipur High School and College, and Shah Alam, a former principal of a college in Dhaka.
Apart from them, a poet named Rasel Asheki bought the AL nomination form.
In a meeting on next Tuesday, AL Local Government Nomination Board will finalise the party's mayor candidate for the DNCC by-polls.
Last night, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia met the party's standing committee members at her Gulshan office to decide on BNP's mayoral candidate.
The meeting talked about Tabith Awal as the mayor candidate.
However, the party would make an official disclosure of the BNP ticket winner after the meeting of BNP's Nomination Board tomorrow night.
The BNP decided to sell its nomination forms today. Aspirants had been asked to collect those within the day and submit those to the party's central office by tomorrow.
Two central BNP leaders have expressed interest in running. They are Tabith Awal, BNP central executive committee member, and Shakil Wahed, assistant publication secretary of the party.
Talking to The Daily Star yesterday, Shakil said he would get a nomination form from the Election Commission today to run for mayor.
BNP-blessed candidate Tabith ran against AL-supported contender Annisul Huq in the last DNCC election after the AL-led government split Dhaka city corporation into two in November 2011.
In the last election held on April 28, 2015, Tabith boycotted the polls on the voting day, alleging widespread rigging.
The BNP-led 20-party alliance decided to nominate one mayor candidate from the alliance, while the ruling AL is yet to discuss the mayor candidate issue with its coalition partners.
A meeting of the AL-led 14-party combine will be held tomorrow. According to AL insiders, DNCC by-polls will be discussed then.
Sadek Khan, general secretary of AL's Dhaka north city unit, who was an aspirant for DNCC mayor candidate, said, “I was interested in running, but I will not collect party nomination form as I did not get the party's green signal."
According to AL insiders, leaders of the unit did not show any interest in running for DNCC mayor as party chief Sheikh Hasina had already given the green signal to businessman Atiqul Islam.
At the AL Central Working Committee meeting on January 6, a party leader wanted to know from the AL chief who would run for mayor from the party and Hasina said that she already gave the go-ahead to the candidate and he had started campaigning.
Hasina did not mention anybody's name. But Atiqul started campaigning, saying that he got the nod from the AL high command.
The ruling AL backed celebrated personality and successful businessman Annisul Huq in DNCC polls of 2015. He was not involved in the AL politics.
The mayor post became vacant after Annisul passed away in London on November 30.
The first election to the undivided Dhaka city corporation was held in January, 1994, and Mohammad Hanif became the first elected mayor.
By-polls to the DNCC mayor post will be held on February 26. Elections in the 36 new wards, which have been included in Dhaka north and south city corporations, will also be held on that day.