“I don’t look at this defeat as a defeat,” the BNP leader said at a news conference at his home in Masdair on Sunday night as his rival Salina Hayat Ivy won a third term as mayor.
“People came to vote in a festive mood, but they could not cast their ballots. The machines were slow, and they were engineered from the inside. Otherwise, the difference (of votes with Ivy) would not be so huge.”
“It was a government versus people game; government versus Taimur Alam Khandaker.”
Taimur expressed frustration over the police and administration’s ‘activities’ before the polls. “People who had been busy campaigning were detained. Arrests began after Awami League leaders had come over from Dhaka.”
In the first election to the city corporation in 2011, Taimur had been fully backed by the BNP, but he announced a boycott of the polls on the eve of voting following party decision.
In 2016, the BNP nominated Shakhawat Hossain, who lost out to Ivy.
This time, the BNP sacked Taimur from its advisory council for defying its decision to stay away from the polls. The local leaders and activists of the party, however, worked for him during the campaign.
“Taimur Alam Khandaker doesn’t need a post. The BNP is in his blood,” he said after the election.