Last-moment campaign for the December 30 polls was in full-swing in Dhaka city yesterday, with complete dominance of the ruling camp, as there was little sign of opposition parties.
Streets were decorated with posters with “boat” symbol, while publicity through megaphones and playing promotional songs in loudspeakers were a common sight across the capital.
Besides, ruling party men brought out large processions on many major streets of Dhaka, resulting in traffic tailbacks that caused sufferings for commuters.
Electoral campaigning for the 11th parliamentary polls are scheduled to end at 8am this morning.
In Dhaka-9, campaign for AL heavyweight Saber Hossain Chowdhury reached its peak, while there was no visible campaigning of BNP candidate Afroza Abbas.
Several thousand leaders and activists of AL and its alliance members brought out a procession around 3pm from Malibagh Community Centre.
They chanted slogans and sought vote for “boat”. The area is flooded with Saber’s posters while Afroza’s posters could hardly be seen.
Similar picture was seen in Dhaka-13 where AL candidate Sadek Khan is contesting BNP nominee Abdus Salam.
Sadek’s posters, banners, leaflets andsongs could be seen and heard everywhere. Campaign for Salam was virtually invisible.
Supporters of AL nominee for Dhaka-7 Haji Mohammad Selim last evening brought out a large procession that marched Chawkbazar, Lalbagh, Kotwali, and Bangshal areas.
On the other hand, some 200 supporters of Jatiya Oikyafront nominee Mostafa Mohsin Montu who is running with BNP’s electoral symbol “sheaf of paddy” brought out a procession on Nazimuddin Road in Bangshal.
Local trader Jalal said Selim is more popular than Montu. However, the contest could have been intense if candidacy of Nasima Akhtar Kalpana, wife of BNP leader Nasir Uddin Pintu, was not cancelled by the Election Commission.
Nabiullah Nabi, BNP candidate for Dhaka-5, campaigned with party activists and supporters at South Jatrabari, Shahid Faruk Road, West Jatrabari, Wapda Colony and Graveyard roads for about two and half hours.
Nabiullah alleged that police obstructed his campaign at some places and arrested 250 of his activists. Police was creating more problems than the opposition men, he said.
“Police did not allow me to campaign with more than 25 people. On the other hand, the AL candidate campaigned with huge number of supporters,” he added.
Contacted, Kazi Wazed Ali, officer-in-charge of Jatrabari Police Station, denied the allegations. Police rather provided security to Nabiullah during campaign, he told this paper over phone.
Campaign for Habibur Rahman Molla, AL candidate in the constituency, was in full throttle. His supporters were seen campaigning in Kazla and Dholaipar around noon. Alongside door-to-door campaign, several rickshaws playing songs seeking vote for “boat” were seen plying on different roads.
Some rickshaws playing campaign songs for Islami Andolon Bangladesh (IAB) candidate Altaf Hossain were also seen in the area since morning.
Dhaka-10 constituency was decorated with posters, banners and stickers of AL nominee Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh.
Some torn posters of Oikyafront candidate Abdul Mannan were seen hanging at City College area.
This paper talked with residents of Dhanmondi, Hazaribagh and Kalabagan areas. They said there is no party except AL in the field. Campaigns for Jatiya Party and IAB were seen three to four days ago but they have vanished now, locals said.
Some women activists of BNP tried to campaign at Hazaribagh area on December 26, but failed, said a local.
Some said they did not even know names of other party candidates.
No sign of election campaigns for Oikyafront and 20-party alliance candidates were seen across Mirpur and Agargaon areas, which were dominated by ruling party candidates.
Posters of AL nominees Kamal Ahmed Majumdar of Dhaka-15, Ilias Uddin Molla of Dhaka-16, Aslamul Haque of Dhaka-14, and Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal of Dhaka-12 were seen everywhere.
AL supporters brought out processions on Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue, 60 Feet and Agargaon areas yesterday.
Posters of IAB and JP candidates were also seen. However, Jasim Uddin, a hawker at Mirpur-10 intersection and voter of Dhaka-16, said “People don’t know who the opposition candidate is.”