Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Awami League's mayoral candidate for the Chattogram city polls, has said intra-party rivalry over councillor posts will not have a damaging impact on his bid as both the party-supported and "rebel" candidates are working for him.
Instead of taking it as a challenge, Rezaul said he would like to think of it as an opportunity to increase voter turnout in the polling centres.
Voters' presence at the polling stations will be significant as the councillor candidates will put all their efforts towards bringing voters out to the centres, he told The Daily Star in the interview on Sunday over the phone.
Rezaul said voters will choose him as he was by their side in their toughest times.
"I have been in politics since the 1960s. When the Covid-19 pandemic started, I went door to door with food and other relief items," said Rezaul, also joint general secretary of AL's Chattogram city unit.
"I also introduced an isolation centre with treatment facilities for patients during the Covid-19 pandemic.
"People want the person who stands by them in their distress. As I was with them in weal and woe, they will vote for me, I believe."
People have seen that the country has had a great change in every sector as they voted for "boat", the electoral symbol of AL, Rezaul added.
"Bangladesh has become a role model in the world from a country afflicted by poverty. Besides, large development projects have been implemented in Chattogram -- many more are ongoing.
"People want this development to continue. So, they will vote for the candidate of boat so that the legacy of development goes on."
Asked about intra-party rivalry, Rezaul said there is no rivalry in the party regarding the mayoral seat, but admitted that there is rivalry for some councillor seats.
However, he said, "Both the party-supported councillor candidates and rebel candidates work for me."
"There is no question about the candidate of boat and the party is united so that the party-nominated mayoral candidate may win the polls," he added.
The central leaders warned the rebel candidates and their patrons of tough action, Rezaul said, but no action has yet been taken against them. He added that the party's high command knew best about the matter.
Asked about BNP's allegation that AL activists conducted attacks on their leaders and activists, Rezaul said BNP leaders always make these allegations.
"Rather, BNP tore off all my posters and banners in front of their party office but our leaders and activists have shown their patience. You see the posters of BNP candidates hanging on the road in front of my house. Nobody touched those."
Rezaul said he expected that a large number of voters will go to the polling centres to exercise their right to vote and the polls will be held in a festive atmosphere.