Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sayeed Khokon was optimistic about his nomination to contest in the upcoming election to the Dhaka South City Corporation.
Khokon even met with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to convince her into letting him vie for the mayoral race again.
But he failed to get the Awami League ticket due to his controversial activities and many alleged irregularities.
Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh bagged the nomination instead.
Sources from the Awami League said the party had conducted several surveys on the activities of the Dhaka South and Dhaka North mayors.
The reports of those surveys reflected positively on Dhaka North Mayor Atiqul Islam, but the Dhaka South Mayor Sayeed Khokon was blamed by the residents of Dhaka South for his failures and negative attitude.
They also believe that the mayor could not bring positive changes in areas under his jurisdiction and could not act effectively in preventing and tackling the dengue outbreak earlier this year.
The reports also revealed many other allegations of irregularities against Sayeed Khokon, which made the ruling party high-ups change their mayoral candidate for Dhaka South.
Referring to the surveys, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader on December 26 said in Narayanganj that candidates who have acceptance among party's rank and file would get nominations.
"The party would not nominate any controversial person," he said.
On Sunday, the Awami League general secretary announced the names of Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh and Atiqul Islam as the mayoral candidates for Dhaka South and Dhaka North respectively.
The ruling party held a meeting to finalise its mayoral candidates for the two city corporations in Dhaka on Saturday night, but did not announce the names immediately. Party chief Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina presided over the meeting.
As many as 20 aspirants submitted forms seeking nomination as mayoral candidates and 1,225 as councillor candidates for the January 30 polls.
Immediately after the announcement of the nominations, Taposh made a pledge to work for a better Dhaka city.
"If I am elected, I – along with the mayor of Dhaka North and former mayor of Dhaka South Sayeed Khokon – will work to build a modern Dhaka," said Taposh.
Mentioning that the people are not getting their desired services from the city corporation as the population of the city has increased over the years, he said, "Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had split the erstwhile undivided Dhaka city corporation into two independent city corporations after taking these problems into account.
"I have decided to take part in the city polls with the aim to resolve these problems."
Referring to the tragic fire incident in the old city in the last year, he said, "Such incidents are frequently taking place in the city as all modes of transport are plying the same narrow roads in the old city, preventing fire trucks from arriving at the scene of the fire."
Taposh also urged his party men to remain united and sought support from the incumbent Dhaka South Mayor Mohammad Sayeed Khokon.
Meanwhile, Atiqul Islam sought cooperation from the voters in Dhaka North for tackling the challenges faced by the city.
"Let's come forward to create a beautiful Dhaka city. We are aware of the challenges we are facing and we have to work together to overcome those," he said.
After the city corporation was split, an election was held in 2015 and Annisul Huq was elected Dhaka North mayor, while Sayeed Khokon became the mayor of Dhaka South. Atiqul Islam was elected in the by-election, boycotted by the BNP and other parties, which was held following the death of Huq.
Meanwhile, the Jatiya Party has nominated Haji Saifuddin Ahmed Milan for Dhaka South election and Brig General (retd) Kamrul Islam for Dhaka North.
The party took the decision at a meeting held at its Banani office in Dhaka on Sunday afternoon, said a press release.
The BNP has nominated Ishraque Hossain and Tabith Awal to run for Dhaka South and Dhaka North respectively.
Ishraque's father Sadeque Hossain Khoka - who died in November this year - was the last mayor of the undivided Dhaka City Corporation.
Tabith, a member of the party's National Executive Committee, had fought for the Dhaka North mayoral position in 2015, but lost to the Awami League's Annisul Huq. His father Abdul Awal Mintoo is a vice-chairman of the party.
Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda announced the schedule for the polls at his office on December 22. According to the election schedule, the deadline for filing nomination paper is December 31.
The returning officers will scrutinise the nomination papers on January 2, and the last date for withdrawing candidacy is January 9.
Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh
Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh is the son of Sheikh Fazlul Haque Moni, nephew of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and founder of the Jubo League.
Taposh is a three-time lawmaker from the Dhaka 10 constituency.
His elder brother Prof Sheikh Fazle Shams Parash is the chairman Jubo League, while his uncle Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim is a member of the Awami League Presidium and also a former chairman of Jubo League.
Atiqul Islam is the incumbent mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation.
He was backed by the ruling Awami League to contest in the by-election to Dhaka North in 2018 after the position had gone vacant following the death of former mayor and businessman Annisul Huq on November 30, 2017.
Atiqul is a brother to former chief justice Md Tofazzal Islam and former Border Guard Bangladesh chief Moinul Islam.
A former president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association for the 2013-14 tenure, Atiqul Islam now heads the Centre of Excellence for Bangladesh Apparel Industries.