The Election Commission (EC) on Saturday called an emergency meeting regarding the deferment of the date of Dhaka north and south city corporation polls slated for January 30 as Saraswati Puja is also on that day.
Amid widespread criticisms and movement by a group of Dhaka University student, the Commission started the meeting at the Nirbachan Bhaban in Agargaon area of the capital at 4:00 pm with Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda in the chair.Both two returning officers of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) joined the meeting as they were called to attend it by the EC authorities.
Confirming this to media, DSCC returning officer (RO) Abdul Baten told media, “The commission will hold an emergency meeting in the afternoon. We (Abdul Baten and DNCC returning officer Abul Kalam) are called to attend the meeting.”
Different quarters, including the Hindu community, have been demanding the deferment of the elections to the Dhaka north and south city corporations slated for January 30 that coincide with Saraswati Puja.
Even major mayoral candidates also urged the EC to reschedule the election so that the Hindu community can smoothly celebrate the Saraswati Puja.
Meanwhile, Dhaka University students continued their fast unto death programme for the third consecutive day on Saturday demanding deferment of the polls to the two Dhaka city corporations slated for January 30.
A group of DU students, led by Vice-President of Jagannath Hall Students’ Union Utpal Biswas and General Secretary Kajal Das, went on hunger strike on the campus on Thursday afternoon demanding deferment of the polls that coincide with Saraswati Puja.Bangladesh Hindu-Bouddha-Christian Oikya Parishad general secretary Advocate Rana Dasgupta warned that they will resist the elections on January 30 as those coincide with Saraswati Puja.
The Election Commission (EC) announced the date on December 22 last year.
Besides, an appeal was filed on Thursday with the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court challenging the High Court order that turned down a writ petition seeking deferment of the January-30 elections as it coincides with Saraswati Puja of the Hindu Community.
The Supreme Court chamber judge is likely to hold a hearing on the appeal on Sunday next.
(With input from UNB)