Election was fair, accepted defeat: Azmat Ullah

Azmat Ullah Khan, president of Gazipur city Awami League
File photo

Azmat Ullah Khan, ruling Awami League (AL) nominated mayoral candidate in the Gazipur City Corporation elections, has accepted the defeat, admitting that "the election was fair."

However, the candidate with the boat symbol alleged many voters couldn't exercise their franchises as the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) didn't work properly. Azmat Ullah came up with this reaction on Friday morning in a post-election briefing at his residence.  

The AL mayoral aspirant conceded defeat to independent candidate, Zayeda Khatun, with table clock symbol by a margin of 16,197 votes. Zayeda is the mother of former mayor of the country's largest city corporation, Jahangir Alam, who was denied nomination from AL this time. 

Azmat Ullah said, " (I've) Accepted whatever the result is in the election. Also, I congratulate the newly elected mayor. However, many people couldn't cast their votes due to the glitches in EVM."    

As the AL refused Jahangir and picked up Azmat Ullah as their candidate for the mayoral post, Jahangir Alam tried to emerge as an independent contestant.

But the election commission disqualified him as he named himself a grantor of a loan defaulter. But the nomination paper of his mother, Zayeda Khatun, was declared valid in mayoral post. As Jahangir fielded his mother as a candidate, the ruling party got aggrieved and later expelled him from the party.

Referring to Jahangir, Azmat Ullah said, "There was propaganda if the election would be free and fair but I’ve accepted the result. But if the same had happened with someone else, would he have accepted it (the result)? Now he would term the election fair as he has won. I maintain a principle, I adhere to a value. It is not fair to term an election unfair if the outcome goes against me. The nation must come out of such practice."

Asked about the reasons behind his defeat, Azmat said, "As I was my party’s candidate, there were some issues relating to the party. I will give my opinion later after scrutinizing these issues thoroughly."

After the voting in Gazipur City Corporation ended at 4:00pm on Thursday, the returning officer Faridul Islam announced the result at Bongotaj Auditorium in Gazipur Zilla Parishad Bhabon at around 1:30am on Friday.

Zayeda Khatun secured 238,934 votes while Azmat bagged 222,737 votes. Islami Andolon Bangladesh’s candidate Gazi Ataur Rahman secured third place getting 45,352 votes. Among other contenders, Jatiya Party candidate MM Niaz Uddin got 16,362 votes, Jaker Party’s Md Raju Ahammed bagged 7,206 votes, Gana Front’s Atiqul Islam secured 16,974, independent candidates Harunur Rashid got 2,426 votes and Sarker Shahnur Islam received 23,265 votes.