SCC election: Mayor Arif in both crises!
Party or election – which one will Sylhet City Corporation Mayor Ariful Haque Chowdhury leave? We still have to wait two whole days for the answer to this question. He said once again that he will hold a public meeting on May 20 and inform the people of Sylhet about the decision.
Mayor Arif called an emergency press conference at Nagar Bhaban on Wednesday (May 17) afternoon. He held this press conference in view of the withdrawal of Ansar members who were guarding his house on Tuesday (May 16) night. Ariful Haque Chowdhury said in response to the questions of the journalists – I am not afraid of the election. Those who are afraid are trying to isolate me from the people in various ways.
In response to a question, Arif said – I am BNP. My party has decided not to go to any election under the present government. If I have to choose this time, I have to leave the party. The ideals of the party should be removed. And if you want to join the party, you have to leave the election. I will tell you what I will do on May 20.
In response to the question whether there is any party pressure on him not to hold the election, Sisik Mayor and BNP central leader Arif said – there is no pressure.
At this time he also said that he has not bought the nomination till now.
At the beginning of the press conference, Mayor Arif said – ‘They are trying to isolate me from the people in various ways. As part of this, in the darkness of Tuesday night, 6 members of the Ansar forces who were engaged in the security of my house were suddenly withdrawn by the newly joined Ansar and VDP commanders in Sylhet. Nothing was communicated to me or anyone at CCIC in any way, oral or written. However, for the past 6 years, 24 members of the Ansar force have been engaged in the security of various important installations of CSIC, including Nagar Bhaban and the office of Amar Basa, in exchange for monthly salary. On Tuesday night, 6 security personnel were suddenly withdrawn from my house and the office adjacent to my house. It is disturbing my security.
Sylhet City Corporation election will be held on June 21. Before the announcement of the schedule, there were rumors – Mayor Ariful Haque Chowdhury is going to be an independent candidate under the banner of civil society in the CSIC elections. However, his thoughts first stumbled upon a recent trip to London.
Mayor Arif suddenly flew to London just before the announcement of Sylhet city election date (April 2). On that day, his personal assistant told Sylhetview – he went to London on a personal visit. Arif will stay there for a week.
But Ariful Haque stays in London for two whole weeks. While on a trip to London, rumors arose – Arif wants to be a mayoral candidate again in the upcoming CSIC elections. His policy will be to resign from BNP before the elections and contest the elections as an independent candidate under the banner of civil society. It was also heard that the team would ‘pull him in’ after winning.
However, the party decision became an obstacle in becoming a candidate. Arif was in trouble with the decision that ‘BNP will not participate in any election under this government’. Therefore, Sylhet City Mayor went there with the aim of becoming a candidate after meeting the party’s policy maker and acting chairman Tarek Rahman in London and persuading him. Mayor Arif also met the Acting Chairman of BNP Tarek Rahman on April 10 to confirm this rumor. Their meeting was held at a venue in London’s Kingston area.
However, after the meeting with Tariq Rahman, Arif announced that he is not a candidate for SCC.
A related source said at that time – Arif is returning from London with a new surprise, even if he is not a SCC candidate. The party will evaluate him differently for this ‘sacrifice’ of his not being a mayoral candidate in the Sisik election following the instructions of the high command. Tariq Rahman assured to make Arif the vice chairman of the party in the future. Moreover, if BNP participates in the next national parliament election, BNP will make Arif a candidate for a seat in Sylhet.
However, after returning to the country, Arif changed a lot. During the reception given by the activists at Sylhet Osmani Airport on the day of his return, he said – ‘I have received a signal from the High Command. But I will reveal the signal after Eid-ul-Fitr.
Later, in a rally on May 1, Mayor Arif said – Although BNP did not go to the elections in the whole country, the context of Sylhet is different. If I am a candidate, I will hold a public meeting on May 20 and explain in front of everyone.
The commotion started again with Arif’s speech. Although BNP is not in the election, there is a strong discussion about BNP leader Arif in Sylhet.
Meanwhile, while the residents of the city were waiting for May 20, on the evening of May 10, Sylhet Metropolitan BNP leaders met with Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, Secretary General of the party in Dhaka. At that time, BNP Acting Chairman Tariq Rahman held a virtual meeting with the leaders of Sylhet metropolis and gave strict instructions to the leaders not to participate in any election. Ariful Haque Chowdhury had to face another round of obstacles under Tarek Rahman’s instructions.
Meanwhile, a letter was sent to 32 party leaders by the Metropolitan BNP urging them not to run for councilor posts in the recent Sylhet City Corporation elections. Although this letter was not given to Ariful Haque Chowdhury, he was verbally requested not to be a candidate.
Sisik Mayor Ariful Haque Chowdhury is currently a member of the Central Executive Committee of BNP. He was the President of Sylhet Metropolitan BNP and General Secretary of District BNP. Ariful Haque was a ward councilor of CSIC during the BNP-led four-party coalition government. The then Finance and Planning Minister M. With the blessings of Saifur Rahman, he became the influential leader of Sylhet.