The government may announce soon elections to Dhaka’s two city corporations.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday asked the local government ministry to arrange the polls for electing office bearers of Dhaka North and Dhaka South city corporations.
At the weekly cabinet meeting, she expressed her interest in city polls although the issue was not in the agenda.
“How would it happen if there is an election (of city corporations)?” she was quoted as saying in the meeting, where local government minister Syed Ashraful Islam was present.
Sheikh Hasina then ordered the ministry to arrange the elections within the shortest possible time.
Both the government and the Election Commission have in the past indicated holding of the elections in the bifurcated Dhaka city corporations, but no schedule was announced formally.
In 2013, the government held elections in five city corporations — Khulna, Rajshahi, Barisal, Sylhet and Gazipur — where the BNP-backed candidates made a full sweep.
Sources in the local government ministry claimed that the elections could not be held due to dispute over demarcation of areas of wards. “That issue has been resolved now,” a source said.
The Election Commission earlier on 25 January sent a letter to the finance division, seeking fund for meeting the costs of holding the elections.
Chief election commission Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmed told newsmen in January that the EC is ready to hold the city polls despite the ongoing political confrontations over holding of parliamentary elections.
The EC secretariat sources said the city elections could be held within the current (2014-15) fiscal year. The government earmarked Tk 50 crore in the budget for the purpose of holding elections.
The Dhaka City Corporation was bifurcated into Dhaka North and Dhaka South in 2011. The tenure of elected officials of the then Dhaka City Corporation expired in 2007.
Source: Prothom Alo