• Monday, Feb 24, 2020
  • Last Update : 02:32 pm

Dhaka city polls rescheduled to Feb 1

  • Published at 08:25 pm January 18th, 2020

The fresh decision came after hours of emergency meeting at Nirbachan Bhaban in Dhaka on Saturday night

The Election Commission has rescheduled the Dhaka city elections to February 1 amid growing protests and demands for deferring the polls from different quarters. 

Earlier on December 22, the commission had set January 30 for holding Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) polls simultaneously. 

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda came up with the revised schedule after the long emergency meeting held at Nirbachan Bhaban in Dhaka on Saturday.

He told reporters that the commission discussed the issue with the Education Ministry and they decided to defer the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and equivalent examinations.

"The decision helped us to shift the poll date to February 1," he said.

The CEC also furthered:"We have taken such a decision so that no religious sentiment is hurt."

Earlier, the Hindu community and Dhaka University students were demanding the deferment of the elections as Saraswati Puja, one of the biggest festivals of the community, falls on the same day, January 30.

Top mayoral aspirants also urged the commission to revise the poll schedule so that the Hindu community can smoothly celebrate the festival.

A group of Dhaka University students began observing fast until death from January 16, and many of them fell sick during the hunger strike.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh Jatiyo Hindu Mohajote urged their community people to refrain from voting if the Election Commission would not reschedule the upcoming elections.

The Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council (BHBCUC) also threatened to go for tougher movement to press the same demand.    

On January 14, the High Court rejected a petition seeking deferment of the January 30 elections. 

An appeal petition was filed with the Supreme Court on January 16 challenging the High Court order.