POST TIME: 14 December, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Electioneering gains pace

Electioneering gains pace

The combo picture shows a replica of a boat (left) remains put up high on bamboo poles at Khilkhet in the capital yesterday to woo voters in the 11th parliamentary polls while a Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal activist marches forward (right), adorning himself with sheaf of paddy, during an electioneering in the Bogura town. Independent and Focus Bangla Photos

Electioneering for the upcoming general elections, slated for December 30, has gained momentum as the day of voting draws closer. After getting electoral symbols on December 10, all the aspirants for the posts of MPs (Members of Parliament)—including incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina—have been canvassing hectically for votes from early morning to midnight in different areas of the total of 300 constituencies across the country.

Witnesses said all the MP candidates from both the ruling Awami League (AL) and its arch enemy, the BNP, as well as from other political parties—along with their respective supporters—were conducting door-to-door visits to woo voters. All are promising to build a developed nation, if elected. The MP hopefuls have been passing their campaign hours at different city wards, bazars, roads and offices. They are attending the electoral meetings of different professional bodies, street rallies, gatherings and meetings to exchange views.

The whole country is wearing a festive look. The leaders and workers of MP aspirants have kept the country’s divisional cities abuzz with various kinds of slogans in favour of their respective candidates for all day long. In the national polls, the main contest will be between the Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party. The nation is going to see a battle of ballots between the ‘boat’ and the ‘sheaf of paddy’, the electoral symbols respectively of the AL and the BNP, after 10 years. The BNP had boycotted the last general elections of January 5.

Both the AL and the BNP have already started their formal election campaigns for the 11th parliamentary elections.

AL president and PM Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday formally launched her party’s campaign from Tungipara by paying tribute to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at his graveyard.

On her way to Dhaka, the AL president conducted election campaigns at seven places, including Faridpur Bhanga intersection, Faridpur intersection, Paturia Ghat, Manikganj bus stand, Dhamrai Rabeya Medical College and Hospital premises and Savar bus stand.

Sheikh Hasina yesterday (Thursday) addressed different street rallies on her way to Dhaka, where she urged the people to cast their votes for her party in a bid to ensure a hunger- and poverty-free Bangladesh.

“Every vote is valuable and your vote will help us form the government for the continuation of the country's development,” she said while addressing a rally at Bhanga intersection in Faridpur.

The AL chief, Sheikh Hasina, will also visit different districts as part of her

party’s poll campaign, and address rallies across the country to drum up support in favour of the AL, party insiders said.

Meanwhile, AL general secretary Obaidul Quader yesterday (Thursday) formally launched the election campaign in the city along with some celebrities. The party’s general secretary launched the campaign for the upcoming polls from the country’s central Shaheed Minar. He visited different streets of the city and distributed party leaflets, requesting people to vote for the ‘boat’ in the polls.

Party-nominated candidates, as well as leaders and workers of the AL, fanned out across the country after getting the party symbol, the ‘nouka’ (the ‘boat’), from the Election Commission (EC) on Monday to campaign for the elections. Meanwhile, the main Opposition BNP-led Jatiya Oikyafront on Wednesday launched its campaign for the national polls by offering prayers at the Shrine of Hazrat Shahjalal in Sylhet.

Alliance chief Dr Kamal Hossain formally kicked off Jatiya Oikyafront’s campaign in Sylhet, where he called upon the people to take back the ownership of the country by voting for the Opposition alliance. The eminent jurist also urged voters to throng polling centres and vote as soon as they open and remain vigilant till voting ends. The BNP-nominated candidates also started their campaigns separately across the country, requesting the people to vote for the ‘sheaf of paddy’, the electoral symbol of the BNP, in the upcoming polls in a bid to restore democracy in the country.

However, the BNP candidates have alleged that the police have been arresting BNP-Jamaat men during electioneering, which was a bar to a level playing field for the elections. Apart from the AL and the BNP, the candidates of the Jatiya Party (JP-Ershad) and other political parties are also been conducting electioneering in full swing for the national polls across the country.