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DCC polls

Candidates start campaign as EC allocates symbols

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Staff Reporter :
Campaign for the elections to Dhaka north and south city corporations kicked off after the distribution of the electoral symbols by the Election Commission (EC) on Friday.
According to the electoral code of conduct, the candidates can start their campaign soon after the allocation of the electoral symbols.
A total of 758 candidates will contest for the posts of mayor, general councillor, and reserve councillor of the two city corporations.
The 13 candidates running for the mayoral posts in the two city corporation      
have officially launched their election campaigns after the returning officers for Dhaka north and south city corporations allocated their poll symbols.
Returning Officer Abul Kashem allocated the election symbols to the six mayoral candidates in Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) while Returning Officer Abdul Baten distributed the symbols to the seven candidates in Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) on Friday.  
All the mayoral candidates have been nominated by registered political parties and are therefore contesting the election with their party symbols.
Meanwhile, the EC received complaints that a few contestants had flouted the electoral rule by canvassing before their electoral logo was allotted.
In this regard, both the returning officers yesterday said that the commission would 'strictly' monitor the issue of compliance with the electoral code of conduct.
The symbol allocation process for the DNCC candidates took place from 9:30am to 10:00am on Friday at National Institute of Local Government in Agargaon.
Mayoral candidates in the DSCC received their election symbols at the office of the returning officer in Gopibagh's Sadek Hossain Khoka Community Centre at 10:00am.
The polls to the Dhaka north and Dhaka south city corporations will be held on January 30 using the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) after 18 days of campaigning.
In total, 758 candidates are contesting for the posts of mayors, general ward councillors and councillors in reserved wards under the jurisdiction of the bifurcated city corporations.
The DNCC houses 3.3 million voters while DSCC has 2.3 million voters.
The incumbent DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam endorsed by the Awami League got the 'boat' symbol while the BNP-backed Tabith Awal was assigned the 'sheaf of paddy' symbol.
The authorities also assigned 'tiger' symbol to Shahin Khan from Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), the 'winnowing-fan' for Sheikh Md Fazle Bari Masud from the Islami Andolon Bangladesh, 'mango' for Md Anisur Rahman Dewan from National People's Party and 'sickle' for Ahammed Sajjadul Haque from the Bangladesh Communist Party.
"The election campaign began on Friday with the symbol allocation. We'll not let anyone spoil the election atmosphere," said Abul Kashem.
The returning officer added, "Election is a festival. We'll not let anyone to turn it into a conflict."
The candidates for general and reserved councillor seats in DNCC were also handed their election symbols.
Meanwhile, CPB candidate Sajedul Huq Rubel kicked off his campaign from Martyred Intellectuals' Memorial in city's Mirpur after getting the symbol.
Atiqul Islam and Tabith Awal also started their campaign from Uttara area after Juma prayers.
Awami League Mayor candidate Atiqul Islam stated his campaign from Uttara sector 4 area while his opponent BNP candidate started his campaign from Uttara sector 7 flanked by party's central leaders.   
At least 251 candidates are vying for the 54 posts of general ward councillor in the DNCC while 77 are contesting for the 18 councillor posts reserved for women.
Ali Asif Khan collected the ruling party's 'boat' symbol on behalf of the Awami League-endorsed mayoral aspirant Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh.
Ishraque Hossain, the son of former mayor of Dhaka Sadeque Hossain Khoka and backed by the BNP, was assigned the 'sheaf of paddy' symbol.
Meanwhile, the authorities assigned the 'plough' symbol to Jatiya Party's Mohammed Saifuddin, the 'winnowing-fan' to Islami Andolon's Md Abdur Rahman, 'mango' to Bahrane Sultan Bahar, 'coconut' to Md Akhtaruzzaman and 'fish' to Abdus Samad from Gonofront.
The 335 candidates vying for the general councillor posts in 75 wards also received their symbols followed by allocation for the 82 contestants for the 25 councillor posts reserved for women.
Awami League mayor candidate Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh started his campaign from word No 70 while BNP mayor aspirant kicked off his campaign from Jatiya Moaque Baitul Mokarram after performing Juma prayers.

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