It is being discussed at every level of society that the upcoming national elections will be an interesting one. Already we are witnessing jubilation, frustration, tears and laughter all around. Last minute lobbying is still going on in party offices and residences of important leaders. Worried men and women seeking nomination often have to stay outside the offices till midnight. But things are drawing to the finishing line as deadlines are coming closer and closer every day.
According to EC directives, yesterday (28 Nov) was the last day for submission of nomination papers. The last day for withdrawal of candidature is 9 December. Candidates can start election campaigning after the allocation of poll symbols on 10 December. The latest directives warn the ministers and MPs that they will have to remove the national flag and use personal vehicles to go to submit nomination papers. EC has also imposed restrictions on use of helicopter for campaigning and bringing out bus, truck or motorcycle rally while submitting nomination papers.
The nomination papers of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for Gopalganj-3 and Rangpur-6 seats have been submitted on Tuesday. She will contest from these two constituencies.
Meanwhile Jatiya Party has received 47 seats from grand alliance. The final list of the grand alliance candidates will be announced after 2 December. There was lots of debate for and against the participation of Khaleda Zia in the upcoming polls. While one group debated that she still can participate, the other said no, she cannot. Finally, the verdict came from the High Court and it says she cannot take part in the polls. Like her, some other BNP leaders may also fail on legal grounds to take part in the polls.
Meanwhile, Jatiya Party workers and nomination seekers are facing a crisis as the chairman of the party Hussain Mohammad Ershad has been admitted to hospital with different ailments. He might have to be taken to Bangkok for better treatment. His absence at such critical juncture is proving to be quite costly for them. No doubt Jatiya Party is a big factor in this election and HM Ershad has an important role to play.