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Although seven candidates are contesting in the polls, Awami League nominated candidate and mayor of the last two terms Selima Hayat Ivy and former BNP leader Taimur Alam Khandakar are the main contender. Taimur is contesting as an independent candidate as BNP is not taking part in the polls. Ivy defeated Shamim Osman by a margin of over 100,000 votes in 2011. That election was not held under party symbol. As an AL candidate, Ivy beat BNP’s Sakhawat Hossain in the 2016 election. No questions arose centring those two polls.

People of Narayanganj expect this election too to be a free, fair and credible one. Both Ivy and Taimur also hoped the election would be fair and transparent. They, however, expressed some apprehensions. Ivy feared of clashes at voting centres while Taimur accused the ruling party leaders of trying to influence the election. He alleged that law enforcers are arresting his supporters and raiding their houses.

We think the apprehensions of both candidates must be taken into consideration. The election commission cannot remain silent spectators. Why did not the law enforcers take action against Taimur’s men, if they are accused in cases, before the announcement of polls schedule? Arresting or raiding political workers after the polls schedule is an old trick to influence an election. We expect EC’s intervention regarding this. On the other hand, Ivy’s fear of violence at polling centres must be taken seriously. The EC must remain strict about such incidents. The people want to see a fair and peaceful election in Narayanganj.

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