Sunday, July 20, 2008

Rajshahi City Corporation: Mayor aspirants vow to check crime, graft

Twelve mayoral candidates of Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) polls during a meeting with people of the city yesterday vowed to resist crime and corruption.

They took an oath holding each other's hands that they would not use or raise musclemen for winning the elections or to confront their opponents.

They promised to ensure people's participation in planning and implementing development schemes, if elected. They also promised to accept defeat in the election and help the winner in the work for development of the city.

They pledged that they would try to increase the use of local resources in augmenting development, hold open budget sessions and maintain regular interaction with the people to ensure accountability.

Three mayor candidates, Awami League (AL) leader Nasir Ahmed Biddyut, Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh Rajshahi city President Akhtaruzzaman Bablu and independent candidate Forman Ali, did not show up at the meeting.

Prof Muzaffar Ahmad, eminent economist and chairman of Transparency International Bangladesh, attended the meeting as the chief guest.

Rajshahi district Shushashoner Janney Nagorik (Shujan) President Prof Nurul Alam presided over the meeting and Shujan General Secretary Badiul Alam Majumder conducted the programme.

Shujan organised the meeting titled "Face-to-face with people" at a local community centre. Channel i, Prothom Alo and The Daily Star were the media partners of the programme.

Former Rajshahi University vice-chancellor Prof Saidur Rahman Khan, Prothom Alo City Editor Pranab Saha, and Shujan Rajshahi city unit President Shamsuddin also spoke at the meeting.

RCC mayor candidates acting RCC Mayor Rejaunnabi Dudu, city AL President Masudul Haque Dulu, its General Secretary AHM Khairuzzaman Liton, BNP's Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul and Enamul Haque, Progressive Democratic Party's Raihanur Rahman, Jatiya Party's Durul Huda, Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal's Ruhul Kuddus Tunu, and independent mayoral candidates Abdul Matin Khan, Abdul Khaleque and Siddikur Rahman replied to questions of the people present.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof Muzaffar said the country's constitution and ideologies of the Liberation War entrusted people with the country's power.

"But people are losing this hold on power due to terrorism, militancy and corruption… A non-elected government has now assumed power due to the failures of political parties," he said.

Calling upon the people to elect honest and competent candidates, he said an elected government is needed to help democracy survive.

The mayor candidates were given a chance to speak briefly on why they joined the mayoral race and what they want to do if they are elected.

Masudul Haque Dulu refrained from making any promises in the meeting even though almost all candidates pledged for different development work including bringing natural gas supply to Rajshahi by 2010.

"The local government is part of the central government. I only can do what the central government allows me to do… this is why I am not making any promises but I assure you that I have love for the people of this city and I would do my best to come to their aid," Dulu said.

Rejaunnabi Dudu said he became RCC acting mayor when the RCC had the burden of Tk 30 crore of unpaid loans. "In the last 14 months, I repaid Tk 13 crore of loans. The corporation's annual expenditure is Tk 18 crore against the income of Tk 14 crore. If elected, I can do better," he said.

Khairuzzaman Liton said he would not let political goons control affairs of the city corporation and he will build a training centre for people seeking jobs overseas.

Mosaddek Hossain identified unemployment and drug as major problems of the city and said he plans to free the city from drugs and create employment opportunities for young people.
 

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