Lutfur Rahman is hoping that a deal can be brokered with Cllr. Rabina Khan where she will run to be the next Member of Parliament for Poplar and Limehouse in return for Rahman’s chosen candidate Cllr. Ohid Ahmed being unchallenged by Khan during the 2018 Tower Hamlets Mayoral election.
Rahman is to appoint Abu Taher Choudhury, a key ally for many years, to lead a committee to ask Khan, currently People’s Alliance of Tower Hamlets Councillor to back off during the Mayoral race.
This and other details of the ex-Mayors strategy for his political comeback where divulged to the audience of between 70 and 80 people who attended the event at the event on Sunday.
Missing, presumed busy elsewhere
Noticeable by their absence were Cllr. Oliur Rahman, Cllr. Harun Miah and Cllr. Gulam Kibria.
No explanation for their non-attendance was given but it seems significant that they chose not to attend a key event for their mentor Lutfur Rahman.
No doubt some will wonder if Messrs. Oliur, Miah and Kibria deliberately snubbed Rahman and are considering going over to Rabina Khan’s team and so causing a rift in Rahman’s team.
Abu Taher Choudhury chaired Lutfur’s comeback meeting which was, according to sources present, all about Lutfur.
Mr. Choudhury, a borough resident for over 28 years is Chief Editor of the weekly Bangla Post newspaper and Editor of the weekly London Bangla. He is also chairman of the advisory Board of the English Weekly Bangla Mirror and a presenter on Channel S TV.
Back by popular demand
Rahman’s pitch was that he is still in the game and by popular demand has entered public life once again.
Other key points of Rahman’s speech were his disappointment that Rabina Khan had left his team and was now standing against him and that his Mayoral candidate Cllr. Ohid Ahmed is the right candidate because apparently, he can connect to everyone.
Unusually people in the audience did challenge Rahman’s version of events of the last few years and pointed out to him that he is only their leader because they allow him to be.
This new-found assertiveness may be unsettling for Rahman who is used to his team follows his lead with no questions being asked.
Rahman’s response to those who dared to question him in public was that he considers himself the only person who can unite the different Bangla political groups on the left and defeat Labour.
It is fascinating to watch the factional politics of Lutfur Rahman, the putative Tower Hamlets Together party, the Independent Group and Rabina Khan’s People’s Alliance of Tower Hamlets.
Unfortunately the reality of Tower Hamlets is that all the time and effort these people put into posturing and maneuvering is wasted. It is indulgent when social issues in the borough such as child poverty and housing need to be properly addressed.
An objective observer might suggest that they sort themselves out, make a clear and public statement that they will adhere to electoral rules, divorce themselves from the ex-Mayor and do their jobs working for the people of the Borough.
Past behaviour indicates that this will not happen.
What might be better would be for the younger generation of Bengali politicians to stand up, reject clan based politics and make a new future for themselves and the Borough and leave the corruption of the past behind.