Businessman-turned-politician Huq was elected as the mayor nine months ago.

The councillors tried to gather in a restaurant in Dhaka’s Manipuri Parha on Monday evening, but the attempt failed due to ‘government pressure’.

The councillors at the restaurant told that a government official had requested them to refrain from holding the meeting.

According to them, a few councillors including Mohammadpur Awami League General Secretary Habibur Rahman Mizan had proposed the meeting.

Ward 20 Councillor Md Nasir groaned, “I don’t know what to do. If I don’t attend (the meeting), I will be called a supporter of the mayor, but if I do attend, I’ll be accused of conspiring against him.”

Claiming that the councillors wanted to have a confidential discussion, Nasir said,

Some councillors unite against Dhaka North Mayor Annisul
“There is no work being done in those areas. People want to beat us when we go there.”

Asked when the dispute between the mayor and the councillors had begun, Nasir said, “There is no dispute. We are simply considered worthless.”

“People spend a lot of money to become councillors. They want to work for the party. They want to engage the party activists,” he said.

Asked how many councillors share the opinion, Nasir said, “Everyone.”

Ward 7 councillor and Dhaka North Swechhasebak League chairman Mobasser Chowdhury said, “I am in good terms with him (the mayor). I don’t know if anyone is in bad terms with him.”

Chowdhury also said, “He does not have a political background. Politicians face pressure. He is a businessman. He is not supposed to understand these things.”

“The people involved in party politics come here. Obviously they will have some demands,” Chowdhury said.

Claiming that the mayor has done a lot of good work, the councillor said, “City Corporation has a lot of departments. He spends a lot of time running the departments along with the ‘Green Dhaka, Clean Dhaka’ campaign.”

“The mayor is working on solving problems like water clogging and traffic jams. He comes to office seven days a week,” Chowdhury added, “We the councillors should not disturb him.”

Requesting anonymity, another councillor told, “There were no developments in the last nine months. He (the mayor) is working with bureaucrats and army officials on deputation. He does not work together with the elected councillors.”

Some councillors unite against Dhaka North Mayor Annisul
“He gave away a Tk 1.6 billion development project to people he nominated through an e-tender. Some of the contractors were from the BNP,” he said.

“Even though he went abroad seven times, no panel mayor was selected. He did not give ID cards to the councillors,” he added.

“Male councillors were given secretaries, but female councillors weren’t. When he visits an area, the councillor of that area is never informed.”

The aim of the meeting was to unite the councillors over these issues, he claimed.

Ward 6 councillor Hazi Rajjab Hossain said, “What could we want from the mayor? Why would we want to clash with him? Things must simply work out.”

But some claimed that Hossain was one of the key organisers of the meeting.

The main organiser, Habibur Rahman, could not be reached. He did not respond to several phone calls and text messages.

Mayor Annisul Huq was also unavailable.