70% candidates from the two major political parties of the second phase municipality polls are businessmen
In the second phase of the municipality elections on party lines, around 70% of Awami League and BNP-backed mayor candidates are businessmen.
According to their affidavits submitted to the Election Commission (EC), Awami League (AL) candidates are ahead in terms of both income and assets compared to the BNP contestants.
On the other hand, 22 BNP candidates among available affidavits of 35 municipalities have multiple police cases against them.
The second phase elections of 61 municipalities are slated for 16 January. According to the affidavits, candidates with educational qualifications ranging from graduation to just literacy are contesting the polls.
Among the 35 mayoral candidates from BNP, 24 are businessmen. Besides, there are lawyers, farmers, teachers and clinic owners in the race on the party ticket.
For the 35 mayoral offices, ruling AL picked up 29 businessmen while there are social workers, lawyers, farmers and housewives who got the party ticket to vie for the mayoral offices.
Of the ruling party candidates, 17 have annual income more than Tk5 lakh while another 18 candidates have assets worth above Tk12 lakh apart from the immoveable property.
Ten BNP-backed candidates have mentioned annual income more than Tk4 lakh while six have annual income Tk3 lakh and another six Tk2 lakh per year.
A large number of BNP candidates – 22 individuals among 35 - are accused in multiple police cases. On the other hand, nine AL candidates have police cases against them while some others wrote that they previously had lawsuits lodged against them, which are currently either stayed or they had been exonerated from those.
Narayanganj AL candidate the richest, highest indebted too
Among the 35 municipalities, Narayanganj's Tarabo AL mayor candidate Hasina Gazi – wife of the Textiles and Jute Minister Golam Dastagir Gazi – has the highest moveable properties.
She mentioned her profession business and said she had investments in private TV channels, energy and developments. She has buildings and apartments worth Tk8.51 crore in her name, and another Tk86.86 crore assets in her husband's name.
She said she earns Tk17 lakh a year from the houses, shops and apartments as the rent. Hasina Gazi has Tk1.41 crore cash and Tk34.78 lakh in banks.
She also has Tk5.77 crore cash to her husband and Tk24.97 lakh in the husband's bank accounts.
Hasina Gazi's bonds, stocks and shares at listed and non-listed companies worth Tk6.40 crore while her husband had purchased bonds, stocks and shares worth Tk33.66 crore for her.
Hasina Gazi in the affidavit said they have cars worth Tk1.93 crore. She mentioned that she passed Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSC) exam and was not accused in any police case.
The AL candidate said she loaned Tk2.40 crore from her husband, Tk4.08 crore from her son, and Tk174.40 crore from banks.
However, the EC website did not have the affidavit of her contestants from the municipality until Wednesday.
Savar candidate earns the highest, Sariakandi lowest
Awami League candidate in Savar municipality Haji Mohammad Abdul Gani – who said he is a businessman -- has the highest income. His income is mentioned Tk20.40 lakh per year, and he gets another Tk1.40 lakh from house and shop rents.
Besides, he gets Tk26,000 interest on his bank deposits. He has about Tk11 lakh cash, and Tk22.87 lakh deposited in banks and financial institutions. He has a jeep, a delivery van, ten bhari gold and a shotgun.
Abdul Gani has 22 satak non-agricultural in his name and another 16 satak in his wife's name. He has a four-storied building, 15 tin-shed houses and got an approval for Tk40 lakh bank loan.
In the meantime, AL candidate Matiur Rahman from Bogura's Sariakandi municipality has the lowest income – Tk2.90 lakh per year. He mentioned agriculture and food product business as the profession.
He has Tk2 lakh cash and Tk67,000 in banks and financial institutions.
BNP's richest candidate has Tk53 lakh in banks
Savar municipality BNP mayoral candidate Refat Ullah is the wealthiest among BNP-picked men. He owns a paper mdanufacturing company and earns Tk4.83 lakh per year.
Among the movable assets, he has Tk53.23 lakh cash in banks. Refat Ullah purchased bonds, shares and debentures worth Tk3 lakh.
His gold and other precious ornaments worth Tk50,000, and electronics and furniture Tk86,000.
He has non-agricultural land worth Tk1.25 crore in his name, another 15.5 decimal in his wife's name. Besides, he has Tk6.05 crore loan with the Basic Bank.
Khagrachari BNP candidate has 18 cases
Of the 35 BNP mayoral candidates, 23 are accused in various cases. The highest number of cases is against Khagrachari municipality mayoral candidate Ibrahim Khalil. There are a total of 18 cases against him.
Savar municipality BNP candidate Refat Ullah becomes second with 16 police cases. There are 13 cases against Shafiqul Islam, BNP mayoral candidate from Netrokona's Kendua municipality.
According to the election schedules, the last date for submission of nomination papers was 20 December, 2020 while the last date for withdrawal of candidature was 29 December. Electronic voting machines (EVMs) will be used in 29 municipalities and the remaining 32 will cast the ballot manually.
3,221 contesting in the polls
A total of 3,221 candidates are contesting in the municipalities for mayor, councilor from reserved seats and councilor posts.
EC sources said four mayor and 11 councilor candidates have been elected unopposed since their rivals withdrew the candidatures. Apart from Awami League and BNP, Islami Andolan Bangladesh, National People's Party, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) and Jatiya Party are participating in the polls.