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Saturday, July 31, 2004

Compiled by SDNP

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Election tomorrow

All preparations for Gazipur-2 by-polls complete


Nesar Ahmad back from Gazipur

In the last moment show-up, candidates in the by-election to the Gazipur-2 constituency came down to the street on Friday with processions and held rallies to woo the voters. The deadline for the election campaign expired at 12 O’clock night on Friday.

All preparations have already been completed for holding the by-election to the country’s second biggest constituency, scheduled for tomorrow (Sunday) amidst the presence of security forces including Army, BDR, Police and Ansars.

A total of eight candidates are vying for the vacant seat of the Jatiya Sangsad. They are Zahid Ahsan Russell (son of slain MP Ahsanullah Master) on AL ticket, Prof MA Mannan on BNP ticket, Brig Gen Mahmud Hasan (Retd) on Jatiya Party (Ershad), Ziauddin Ahmed (JP-Monju), Krishak Mohammad Sadek (Bangladesh Krishak Sramik Mukti Andolan), Shahabuddin Ahmed (NDP), Sheikh Bashir Ahmed (Independent) and Shafiul Alam (Independent).   

Voting will be held in 1,016 booths in 195 Centres in the Tongi and Gazipur pourasavas from 8am to 4pm without any break. Of the voters, 3,03,061 are male and 2,43,232 are female.

Talking to the members of Local Government Development Journalists Forum (LGDJF) on Friday, Returning Officer (DC of Gazipur) M Fazle Rabbi said 17 presiding officers were replaced after receiving allegations of partisanship against them.

 “This is a big constituency and we have shortage of manpower for delegating them as the Presiding and the Polling Officers. However, we tried our best to do so,” he said and informed the journalists that some organisations do not cooperate in giving the names for Presiding and Polling Officers.

Asked on transfer of election centres due to flood, he said a total of 22 centres were affected by flood and of them, 21 have been shifted elsewhere. Quoting police information, he also said that 26 centres were identified as most vulnerable and 25 as vulnerable in terms of violence.

A total of 18 teams consisting of 450 Army personnel and 283 Magistrate will patrol the election areas on the polling day. Besides, 15 platoons of BDR and several contingents of police and Ansar will remain vigil on the election day to avert any untoward incident.

While roaming around the constituency on Friday, this correspondent found that the candidates, mostly of the big parties, were not abiding by the election code of conduct.

They were holding rallies occupying the highway. Multi-coloured posters, banners and festoons with pictures of the candidates were also found hanging in the areas. Even, billboards with the election symbols seeking vote for the candidates were seen on the Dhaka-Mymensingh highway.

The Gazipur-2 seat fell vacant when Awami League MP Ahsanullah Master was shot dead by miscreants in May this year.

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