All the mayor and councilor candidates for the Rangpur City Corporation (RpCC) election had a busy day Tuesday before the curtain is set to fall on the electioneering on midnight, 32 hours before the start of balloting.
All types of rallies, processions and showdowns will remain prohibited in the election areas from Tuesday midnight as the polling begins at 8am on Thursday.
Seven candidates are in the election race for the mayoral post, while 211 candidates for ward councillors and 65 women candidates for reserved councillors, said SM Asaduzzaman, Director (PR) at the Election Commission Secretariat.
The candidates, both mayoral and running for councilor posts, spent the whole day meeting people at different wards of the city, in order to drum up support in their favour.
At the tail end of the campaigning time, Jatiya Party candidate Mustafizur Rahman Mustafa held a rally in Rangpur city’s Ranchandi area, on Tuesday morning.
Incumbent Rangpur city mayor, Awami League’s Sharfuddin Ahmed Jhantu also attened a large rally.
BNP candidate Kawsar Jahan Babla too was busy holding many rallies in the city.
The campaigning will end at midnight and all non-locals have already been asked to vacate the electoral area.
Law enforcement agencies have beefed up vigilance in the city, including setting up a four-tier security system for at risk-polling centres. Two hundred motorcycles have already been confiscated as a part of security protocol.
Sources say police are also keeping a close eye on weapons and whether people with rap sheets are entering in the area to make sure the elections remains violence-free.
Rangpur Range Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Khandker Golam Faruk told the Dhaka Tribune that a letter has been sent to all residents in the city to avoid outdoor activities at night.
The city has been divided into four parts to ensure fair voting.
Rangpur's Regional Election returning Officer Subhash Chandra Sarkar said they have taken every precaution to make sure the elections are fair
This time the election is going to be held with the polls symbols of political parties unlike its maiden election held on December 20, 2012, when pro-Awami League Sarfuddin Ahmed (Jhantu) was elected mayor defeating his nearest rival Mostafizur Rahman.
A total of 3,93,994 voters -- 1,96,356 men and 1,97,638 women -- are expected to exercise their voting right to elect a mayor, 33 ward councillors and 11 councillors to the reserved seats of women in the election.
The voting will take place at 193 polling centers and 128 of which are said to be vulnerable, or at risk of violence across the Rangpur city on December 21.
Just one polling station -- the Begum Rokeya Government College at ward 25 -- will see the use of newly designed electronic voting machines.
The balloting will start at 8am and continue till 4pm without any break.