Salina Hayat Ivy, who is contesting the Narayanganj City Corporation mayoral poll as the Awami League candidate, has raised questions about the validity of Shamim Osman’s involvement in the campaign.
“How can he campaign?” she said. “Isn’t he a member of parliament? It would be a violation of the code of conduct if he took part.”
Shamim Osman, a member of Narayanganj’s influential Osman family and long-time political rival of Ivy, recently announced he would ‘take to the field’ in support of the Awami League candidate.
“Given the public support we have, does it look like we need more help four days before the polls?” said Ivy when questioned by the media on Osman’s remarks. “I will make do with the voters I already have.”
Ivy, who has served as mayor for the past 10 years, held a rally at the Khanpur area of the city’s Ward-12 on Tuesday.
“As always, I will tell the media that I have faith in our leader Sheikh Hasina, I have faith in our party – the Awami League, and I have faith in the people.”
She also described the allegations levelled by independent candidate Taimur Alam Khandaker of harassment as ‘a ploy or strategy’ to raise questions about the Awami League, reports bdnews24.com.
Taimur accused Jahangir Kabir Nanak, a presidium member of the Awami League, of threatening him with “trouble" in public remarks.
“They have started to arrest the BNP leaders and activists and my supporters after Nanak's statement. I believe this is the trouble I’m facing now,” he said.
Taimur then urged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to step in and save his supporters from harassment.
Asked about the allegations, Ivy said: “I don’t have such manpower, or administration support. He is campaigning with more force than I am, so I don’t know why he’s making such allegations. I do not know if this is some strategy, or trick. I just want to campaign and stay with the voters.”
“The people of Narayanganj have known me for the past 18 years and they have seen what I do. I say what I say openly. I contested two other city corporation polls and no one can say those elections were influenced.”
The administration has never supported me in that manner, so why would they suddenly do so now? she asked.
“It is not my responsibility to tend to the complaints of another candidate,” the ruling party candidate said. “I am campaigning. He is campaigning with his activists. He is campaigning with more force than I am.”