Awami League's rebel candidate in the upcoming Cumilla mayoral race, Masud Parvez Khan Imran, moved away from the contest on Thursday. Instead, he extended his support to party nominated mayoral aspirant, Arfanul Haque Rifat.
Awami League leader Imran made a formal announcement in this regard at an afternoon press conference in the Cumilla Chamber of Commerce Auditorium of the city.
Imran, also president of the Cumilla Chamber of Commerce, told the conference that he was withdrawing from the race showing respect to AL President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
He said "Awami League's politics is in my blood. My father Afzal Khan held the leadership of the party in Cumilla since 1960. So, I could not reject when the president of my party instructed me to quit from the race."
Immediately after the announcement, leaders and activists opposed his decision. Nevertheless, he has directed his followers, AL leaders-activists, to work in favour of the "boat" symbol and party nominated candidate.
"I will also work for the "boat" and the party-nominated candidate as the "boat" is not a symbol of any individual but the symbol of Bangabandhu," he added.
Earlier on 17 May, Imran submitted his nomination papers as a rebel candidate to join the mayoral race.
According to the election schedule, the last day for withdrawal of candidacy is 26 May and the allotment of symbols takes place on 27 May.
The polls will be held on 15 June when 229,000 voters will cast their votes using electronic voting machines or EVMs. The elections will be held at 105 polling centres in 27 wards.