Desk report, July 29: The Election Commission (EC) has completed all necessary preparations to hold elections in three city corporations in a free and fair manner.The electoral campaigns of the three city corporations – Rajshahi, Sylhet and Barishal – ended formally at midnight Saturday.
Besides, the outsiders who are not voters of the three city corporations were asked to leave the election areas by Friday midnight.
The nominees of Awami League and BNP and independent candidates for mayoral posts and councilors were conducted their last-minute campaigns on Saturday.
In Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC), four candidates are contesting for the mayoral post. They are – AL-backed AHM Khairuzzaman Litan (Boat), BNP-backed Mohammad Mosaddeq Hossain ((Sheaf of Paddy), Islami Andolan Bangladesh candidate Md Shafiqul Islam (Hand Fan) and independent candidate Md Murad Morshed (Elephant).
Six candidates are competing in Barishal City Corporation (BCC) polls for the mayoral post. They are- AL-Backed Serniyabat Sadek Abdullha (Boat), BNP-backed Md Majibur Rahman Sarwar (Sheaf of Paddy), Islami Andolan candidate Obaidur Rahman (Hand Fan), Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) candidate Abul Kalam Azad ((Sickle), Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal candidate Manisha Chakrabarty (Ladder) and Jatiya Party candidate Md Iqbal Hossain (Plough).
In Sylhet City Corporation, seven candidates are contesting for the mayoral post. The candidates are- AL-backed Badar Uddin Ahmed Kamran (Boat), BNP-backed Ariful Haque Chowdhury (Sheaf of Paddy), Islami Andolan Bangladesh-backed Dr Md Moazzem Hossain Khan (Hand Fan), Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal candidate Md Abu Jafar (Ladder) and independent candidates Ahasan Mahbub Jobayer (Table Watch), Md Ahasanul Haque Taher (Deer) and Md Badruzzaman Selim (Bus).
A total of 530 councilor candidates are contesting in the three city polls.
Farhad Ahmmad said a team of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has already been deployed at every ward in the three city corporations two days ahead of the polls.
Besides, one platoon BGB (Border Gourd Bangladesh) has been deployed in every two wards in the polls areas and the BGB will discharge their duties one day more after election.
Besides, four platoons BGB will be kept in reserve for any type of unstable situation, he added.
Ahmmad said a total of 10 executive magistrates conducted mobile courts in the three city corporations from June 14 to July 9.
Besides, 10 other executive magistrates are conducting mobile courts in the three city corporations from July 10 which will continue till August 1, he said.
On the other hand, 20 executive magistrates have been deployed in every city corporation to check electoral code of conduct and to ensure security in the polls areas two days ahead of the election, he said, adding 10 judicial magistrates will also be deployed in Rajashahi and Barishal city corporations areas while nine judicial magistrates in Sylhet city polls areas.
Election Commission sources said a total of 3,18,138 voters are in Rajshahi City Corporation. Among them, 1,56,085 are male and 1,62,053 are female.
There are 2,42,666 voters in Barishal City Corporation. Of them, 1,21,436 are male and 1,20,739 are female.
In Sylhet City Corporation, there are 3,21,732 voters. Of them, 1,7144 are male and 1,50288 are female.
The sources said three-tier security measures will be taken in the three city corporations. Mobile and striking forces of police, RAB and BGB have been deployed in the polls areas two days ahead of the election and it will continue one day more after the election.
One mobile force consisting with police, APBN and Ansar will be deployed at every general ward and a striking force will be deployed in every three wards. Besides, 24 law personnel will be deployed at every important voting center.
Ahmmad said the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) will be used at 10 centers in Barishal while two enters each in Rajshahi and Sylhet city polls.
Syed Amirul Islam is the returning officer at Rajshahi City Corporation while Mujibur Rahman and Md Alimuzzaman have been employed as returning officers in Barishal and Sylhet city respectably.