Who won in Gazipur, why?

Who won in Gazipur, why?
Who won in Gazipur, why?

After the victory, Zayeda Khatun spoke to reporters at her residence in Chaikdana area of ​​the city. His son Jahangir Alam was with him.


Jahangir Alam, the former (expelled) mayor of Gazipur City Corporation won the mayor’s post in a close fight. This sentence may seem wrong. Because, his mother Zayda Khatun has officially won. But practically it is Jahangir’s victory. In fact, it is a victory for the government’s electoral strategy. In fact it was that strategy that led to the defeat of the ruling Awami League candidate Azmat Ullah Khan and in the words of Jahangir Alam ‘it is not the defeat of the boat but of Azmat Ullah the person’.

Looking at the electoral system and the trend of elections in the country in recent years, there may have been an impression in the public mind that Azmat Ullah Khan, the candidate of the ruling party, will win or he will be ‘brought to victory’. But when the results of all the centers started coming one by one, it was seen that the gap between the boat and the table clock was very small and Zayda Khatun was slightly ahead. The final result of the midnight polling revealed that Zayeda Khatun (Table Clock) got 238,934 votes in 480 centers. Azmat Ulla Khan (Boat) got 222 thousand 737 votes. That is, the margin of votes is only 16 thousand 197.

A Jhanu politician like Azmat Ullah Khan lost to an independent candidate who was not politically or socially known before submitting his mayoral nomination. He has never participated in any political program let alone election. Rather, people came to know his name when his son Jahangir Alam submitted nomination papers for the post of mayor. That is, Azmat Ullah Khan was defeated by Jahangir Alam; Not to his mother or to any independent candidate. Just as Narayanganj Mayor Selina Hayat Iveer has an image as a woman, and one that puts her ahead of powerful politicians like Shamim Osman—Zayda Khatun’s gender identity does not seem to have given her any added advantage. Rather, the entire credit for his victory here goes to his son and a few other factors.

1. Azmat v. Jahangir : It is clear as day that Jahangir Alam has more votes than Azmat Ullah Khan in Gazipur as a party leader or as an individual. In many cases it is understood that his public involvement is also high. Especially since Gazipur was an industrial area and Jahangir Alam himself was a garment merchant, most of the garment workers voted for him. It is a big vote bank of Gazipur. It may be recalled that in the 2013 Gazipur city elections when Awami League candidate Azmat Ulla Khan lost to BNP candidate MA Mannan, Jahangir Alam acted as a factor. Jahangir Alam participated in that election as an independent candidate and got about 30,000 votes even after withdrawing from the election several days before the polling. That means if he was in Bhoth field, he would have won that election too. After that, Jahangir was elected as the mayor of Gazipur after receiving the nomination of Awami League in the 2018 city elections. But could not stay long. He was expelled from the party on November 19, 2021 for making derogatory comments about Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and doubting the number of martyrs in the Liberation War. He later became the mayor. Later, however, the party forgave him. But he went beyond the party decision and submitted nomination papers for the post of mayor. Then he also submitted nomination papers on behalf of his mother. Because he was convinced or was under the impression that his nomination might be cancelled. That is what happened and essentially Jahangir Alam contested the election with his mother as a dummy candidate. won Did the government lose to Jahangir’s strategy or did the government not want to win with him?

2. Rule by the uneducated majority: Democracy in a country like Bangladesh is actually the rule of the ‘majority of uneducated’ people. That is, still most of the voters of our country are not educated in that sense. But what a vote of a shopkeeper or a garment worker is worth, so is the vote of a university professor. People always want to vote for their own people. So if a majority of people see a candidate who is closer to them or who they feel is culturally closer—they want to vote for him. So even a university professor can lose to a labor leader in an election. This is the biggest advantage and disadvantage of democracy.

3. Voting culture: The state structure and electoral system of Bangladesh has gone to such a place that who is more qualified and better than who is not the ruler of its victory or defeat. People now vote not to get anything, but sometimes to express their anger by voting. That is, the previous person was not good, so this time I voted for a worse person. Not that the person I voted for is better than the previous one. Due to which it can be seen that many of the large number of voters outside the party leaders and supporters are discouraged from voting for the candidate of the ruling party when they get the opportunity. Again, as many people in his community benefit from the powerful, on the contrary, a large number of people are deprived and oppressed in various ways. As a result, they wait to be ‘shown’ during polling.

4. US pressure: Whether the government or the ruling Awami League admits it or not, the recent US visa issue also played a role in the free, fair and controversy-free election in Gazipur. Because a day before the voting in Gazipur, the United States has informed that if there are irregularities in the elections in Bangladesh, the people associated with those irregularities will not get visas to the United States. There is no denying that this is a concern for many in government. Because many Bangladeshis’ second home is the United States for many reasons including business, money laundering, children’s education and family members’ residence. And if the United States does not grant a visa to any citizen, then if other friendly countries of the United States, including Canada, follow their lead, it will give many people sleepless nights. So there is no chance that the government is ignoring this US visa warning or that it is not a threat. In such a situation, the government should try to prove that they are not influencing the elections. That is to show the world that the elections were free, fair and impartial and that the Election Commission as an independent institution is capable of conducting free, fair and acceptable elections. So, in this continuation, they (EC) will be able to complete the next national parliament elections successfully without the influence and pressure of the government.

5. Caretaker Government Issue : Keeping these local level elections free from influence, the government can also bring forward the issue of non-partisan supervision of the government in the national elections. It may be recalled that on October 12 last year, the day after the Election Commission stopped the polling of Gaibandha-5 by-elections due to irregularities, Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud said that the closure of polls in this by-election proved that there is no need for a caretaker government in the country. His words remained in the media.

6. Government does not change in local elections: In turn the question that always comes up is that, whatever the local government elections; No matter how neutral role the government and the Election Commission play in this election, can the national parliament election be evaluated with this election? Because the change of government does not depend on the victory or defeat of local government elections. In the other four cities (Rajshahi, Sylhet, Khulna, Barisal), if the candidates of the ruling party lose in two or all of them (unlikely), then the government will not change. This may prove to reduce the government’s popularity and give the opposition, especially the BNP, an opportunity to say that the ruling party’s candidates lost even though they were not on the ballot—but that too will not have much impact on the overall national election. Because individual image and regionalism often play a big role in local government elections beyond party symbols. For example, in Gazipur, the vote was mainly between Azmat Ullah Khan and Jahangir. In addition, party infighting, the strength of rebel candidates—also play a role in local elections. Therefore, it is difficult to reach the conclusion that the city elections have been or will be very good under the party government, and that the national parliament elections will also be free, fair and acceptable. Because, how the election will be will depend entirely on how the government wants to see that election. If the government wanted, it could have won the boat candidate by manipulation in Gazipur. But the government didn’t want it or didn’t do it. So what will happen in the national elections is difficult to predict right now.

Finally, this election of Gazipur is a big message of Awami League that in the next parliamentary elections, where they fail to settle the party conflict, their rivals will go out. Secondly, the internal and external pressure on the government to keep elections free, fair and pressure-free is also a big challenge. As a result, Awami League should now focus on tidying its own house instead of spending much time chasing the opposition.


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