Awami League mayoral candidate in the Narayanganj City Corporation (NCC) elections, Selina Hayat Ivy, said today that she neither enjoyed any additional advantage as a nominee of the ruling party, nor did she ever try to manipulate the administration.
"People of the city are on my side. Why would I need to seek such advantages," Ivy exclaimed, responding to reporters at an election campaign rally in Ward 16 on Thursday.
"The pre-polling in the last two city corporation elections was also tense. However, people were able to cast their vote peacefully," Ivy said, adding that she will continue to seek votes in person and it is the administration that is in charge of maintaining law and order in those areas under check.
Asked about Independent mayoral candidate Taimur Alam Khandaker's complaint about police harassment, Ivy said, "He should name the people who were arrested. I don't know anything about who arrested whom. The only detention I am aware of, was for the Hefazat rampage."
"There are always some isolated incidents before every election. In case of any untoward situation, it is the administration that is supposed to deal with it," she said, adding, "I don't have time for this now. I am busy reaching out to people for their valuable votes."
Since the formation of Narayanganj City Corporation, incumbent mayor Dr Selina Hayat Ivy won the first two elections in 2011 and 2016. Earlier, she was mayor of erstwhile Narayanganj municipality.
The maiden NCC elections were held in a non-partisan manner in 2011.
In 2016, Dr Ivy was reelected as NCC mayor as an AL candidate and the mayoral election was held using party symbols, unlike the councillor elections in the city corporation.
On 30 November last year, the Election Commission announced schedules for the NCC elections.
According to the schedules, the deadline for the submission of nomination papers was 15 December, while the scrutiny of nomination papers was set for December 20, and the last date for the withdrawal of candidature was 27 December in the NCC elections in this latest round of elections.
The Narayanganj City Corporation elections this year will be held on 16 January (Sunday) using electronic voting machines (EVM) instead of traditional ballot papers.
A total of 148 councillor hopefuls are contesting polls in 27 wards of Narayanganj City Corporation, including nine reserved seats for women councillors.