Bobby Hajjaj pulled himself out of the race for the next mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC).
The Nationalist Democratic Movement chairman withdrew his candidacy in the mayoral by-polls on Saturday, according to Returning Officer Abul Kashem.
“The NDM is now a registered political party but I bought the nomination paper before the party’s registration. I am now stepping aside as per the party’s decision,” Bobby told reporters.
Five candidates are now in contest for DNCC mayor on Feb 28. Garment businessman Atiqul Islam received the Awami League ticket for the by-polls while the BNP is staying away from the election.
Other mayoral candidates are Jatiya Party’s Shafin Ahmed, PDP’s Shahin Khan, NPP’s Anisur Rahman and Independent Candidate Mohammad Abdur Rahim.
Shafin Ahmed, the lead vocalist of popular band Miles, made a surprise entry into politics last year when he announced his intention to contest the polls.
He had initially intended to run as a candidate for Bobby’s NDM party after the by-polls were announced following the death of DNCC Mayor Annisul Huq.
But the Election Commission rejected the NDM’s registration and the decision was upheld in court, as per a report by bdnews24.
After a new schedule for the polls was announced following legal complications, Shafin submitted his nomination as a candidate for the Jatiya Party. But the EC initially rejected his nomination due to his alleged loan defaults before clearing him to contest the polls on Feb 6.
Bobby, the eldest son of controversial businessman Musa Bin Shamser, came into politics in 2013 by joining the Jatiya Party's research and strategy wing. Before the 10th parliamentary election, Bobby appeared as a spokesman for the Jatiya Party when Ershad ‘mysteriously’ fell ill and was admitted to the Combined Military Hospital. After a few days, he went to the UK.
Ershad had removed Bobby as his special adviser after he announced his candidacy for the Dhaka city election in 2015 even after the party had officially backed a candidate.
Ahead of the Dec 30 parliamentary election, Bobby floated the NDM in 2017. As his party failed to get registration from the EC before the election, he contested the election from the seat with the lantern symbol of the Muslim League. The NDM was eventually registered with the EC on Jan 30.