Local administrations had to pull down campaign materials in several places across the country yesterday as many MP aspirants didn’t remove their posters and banners after the deadline expired at midnight on Sunday.
The Election Commission had directed all political parties and aspirants to bring down their campaign materials by November 18 midnight.
But district administrations and city corporations had to conduct drives led by executive magistrates to rid roadsides, walls and electric poles of the materials.
Quoting officials, the EC yesterday said that 90 percent of the campaign materials had been removed.
“We have once again directed divisional commissioners, deputy commissioners and chief executive officers of city corporations and other local government bodies today [yesterday] to remove the electoral campaign materials. They will take action against political parties and candidates who had not removed those,” said EC Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed.
The Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) started removing posters, banners and festoons since yesterday morning.
Led by DSCC Executive Magistrate Masud Rana, the drive was conducted in Suritola, English Road, Purana Paltan, Khilgaon, and Motijheel areas.
A DSCC official said all employees concerned were asked to remove the materials as per the EC directives.
The DSCC would continue the drive and had requested ward councillors to assist.
In Chittagong, posters of Awami League leader and MP hopeful Syed Mahmudul Haque was seen on the south gate of MA Aziz Stadium.
Another AL aspirant Helal Uddin’s posters were also there.
Banners of AL aspirants were also seen on the walls of Railway hospital and Railway Building area yesterday.
Contacted, Munir Hossain Khan, Chattogram district election officer, said mobile courts led by 16 executive magistrates were conducting drives across the city.
“As far as I know, electoral campaign posters and banners have been removed in 95 percent of the areas,” he said.
In Rajshahi, most of the campaign materials had been removed on time, except Godagari upazila.
At Kamarpara market, posters of AL aspirants Motiur Rahman and Tajibul Islam were seen at 3:00pm yesterday.
“Most of the aspirants listened to our call and cleaned up the materials. We had engaged labourers to remove the rest,” said Kader, also the Deputy Commissioner of Rajshahi.
He said no punitive action was taken against anyone.
“If any campaign material still remains, our mobile courts will launch drives and take legal action,” the DC said.
In Dinajpur, The Daily Star correspondent found many posters of Ahmed Sharif Rubel, a JP aspirant.
Posters of Communist Party of Bangladesh were found at Kalitola area of the district. A big signboard of Sweschchasebak League was also found.
In Barishal, Mozzeml Haque Chowdhury, executive magistrate, said about 50 billboards were removed during a drive in several areas in the city. No one was penalised though.
The Khulna City Corporation removed most of the banners, posters from the city by Sunday. The rest of the materials were removed by 10 executive magistrates yesterday, said said Palash Kanti Bala, Chief Executive Officer of the city corporation.
A few torn banners were seen yesterday.
There were similar pictures in Bogra, Mymensingh, Narayanganj and Kurigram.