AL gears up for upazila polls, BNP keeps mum

Special Correspondent

16 January, 2019 12:00 AM printer

AL gears up for upazila 
polls, BNP keeps mum

The ruling Awami League is gearing up for the upcoming Upazila Parishad elections while its arch rival BNP keeps mum over the local government polls.

As per a provision of the local government law, intending chairman candidates from the registered political parties will contest the Upazila polls with their party symbols.

Aspirants of the Awami League have already started hectic efforts to get party ticket for the upcoming local government elections.

Awami League central leaders say deprived and dedicated party leaders will be given nomination to contest the Upazila Parishad polls.

The Election Commission (EC) has already taken a decision to hold the Upazila Parishad elections in phases. The polls will begin in the first week of March.

“The schedule for the country’s 5th Upazila Parishad election will be announced in the first week of February,” EC secretary Helaluddin said on Monday.

Electronic voting machines (EVMs) will be used in the election to all sadar upazila parishads.

Despite the EC’s decision, the BNP, which secured only six seats in the December 30 national elections, remains silent over the Upazila polls.

The potential BNP candidates, even the incumbent BNP-backed chairmen of some upazilas, are not showing any interest to contest the upazila polls.

According to Section 17(1) (Ga) of the Upazila Parishad Act 1998, upazila parishad elections should be held within 180 days after the expiry of the tenure of upazila parishad.

The last edition of Upazila Parishad elections was held in 2014 in five phases. The first phase was held in February after the January 5 national polls in the year. The BNP-led alliance boycotted the January 5 polls.

Sources in the Election Commission said the elections to some upazila parishads will be held in March as their tenure will end by this time.

The local government division is working to list the upazila parishads whose tenure has expired.

After preparing the list of such upazila parishads, the local government division will sent letters to the EC for arranging the polls there.

Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader on Tuesday said that their party will contest the Upazila election without its alliance partners.

“We’ll join the polls alone as our candidates will contest the polls with ‘boat’ symbol,” he said, adding that ‘boat’ symbol won’t be given to any partner of the Awami League-led alliance.

Quader, also the road transport and bridges minister, called on the alliance partners to separately field candidates for the upazila parishad polls.