Mayoral candidates of Barisal City Corporation have started election campaigning in full swing.
Serniabat Sadiq Abdullah, the AL mayoral hopeful, has been busy visiting various areas, seeking support from people.
Yesterday, he visited a primary school in Mollick Road area and spoke to locals in Kalibari Road area. Some central leaders also accompanied him. District, city and ward-level units of Awami League are also holding meetings almost every day on his behalf.
BNP-backed Mojibor Rahman Sarwar distributed pamphlets on Sadar Road. Jatiya Party's Iqbal Hossain Taposh visited Rasul Pur area under ward 9.
Manisha Chakrabarty of Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal and Abul Kalam Azad of CPB were also busy convincing voters, calling upon them to bring change in the mayoral post.
Election to BCC is scheduled for July 30.
11 CENTRES SELECTED FOR USING EVM
The Election Commission has decided to use electronic voting machines (EVM) in 11 centres under wards 12, 20, 21, 28.
The centres were chosen on the basis of voters' number, accessibility to centres and voters' educational qualification, among others, said Returning Officer Mujibur Rahman.
'SELECTION, NOT ELECTION'
Amid the mayoral race, allegations also run rife that many councillor candidates have been pressurised to withdraw their nomination papers.
Four out of 40 ward councillors have already been elected uncontested. They were declared winners unofficially on July 10, the date for finalising the candidate-list.
They are AL-backed Liakat Ali Khan Lavlu of ward 15, Mosharraf Hossain Badsha of ward 16, Gazi Noimul Hossain Litu of ward 19 and BNP-backed Ayesha Touhida Luna of ward 4 (general wards 10, 11 and 12).
BNP's Zakir Hossain Jelal, former councillor of ward 15, alleged that he had to withdraw his nomination paper due to “pressure”. He, however, refused to elaborate his claim.
Sumon Haldar Ashish, a BNP-backed councillor candidate in ward 19, also alleged that he was “pressurised by an influential quarter”. His nomination paper was later cancelled due to some discrepancies.
Rafikul Alam, secretary of Shujan in Barisal, said, “This trend of being elected uncontested will affect the democratic process.”
Echoing him, Advocate Manabendra Batobayal, former president of Sachetan Nagorik Committee, said, “The election has now become a selection process.”