Taimur Alam Khandaker, independent mayoral candidate in Narayanganj City Corporation (NCC) elections, held rallies with thousands of supporters in the last minute campaign yesterday.
"I will not back down just before the election like I did in previous elections. The people have nominated me and I am participating in the election for them," Taimur told The Business Standard before attending a rally at the Siraj ud Daulah ground in the city on Friday afternoon.
The former BNP leader said, "I did not withdraw from the election on my own in the 2011 and 2016 elections. I boycotted the election as my party – BNP – boycotted it. This time I am the people's candidate."
Taimur said the people are supporting him this year as they no longer want to bear the burden of excessive taxes.
"The authority increased holding tax by 3%, without providing any water for the taxpayers. People want relief from this. Besides, they want service from service providers. People want an end to 18 years of exploitation to get the desired services," Taimur said.
Meanwhile, a long traffic jam was created on roads in wards 21 and 22 in Bandar police station area yesterday, when thousands of supporters of Taimur participated in rallies there.
Residents of those wards told TBS that earlier Taimur held rallies, but there were not as many people as there were in yesterday's rallies.
Supporters of Taimur alleged that the supporters of another mayoral candidate prevented them from distributing leaflets containing Taimur's election symbol "Elephant" in some areas.
The Narayanganj city residents also expressed fear of violence during the election.
A number of people in the city said they are not interested in going to the polling centres as they witnessed violence during the past elections and could not cast votes. They said they would go to the centres if they saw that the election was going on in a peaceful environment.
Meanwhile, Taimur alleged that Awami League Presidium Member Jahangir Kabir Nanak is creating confusion in the minds of the people about the upcoming election.
"Nanak along with some of his colleagues had a meeting with the (Narayanganj) deputy commissioner and the superintendent of police on Thursday night, just two days before the election," said Taimur at a press briefing at Missionpara area of Narayanganj yesterday.
"We do not expect it from a high-ranking leader. The people of Narayanganj have become apprehensive about such activities. I am seeking Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's attention in this regard."
He also alleged that the ruling party leaders and activists are staying in different government facilities including the Circuit House, Narayanganj Club, Daak Bungalow and using them for election campaigns.