The Election Commission (EC) has received more than 50 applications for and against its proposed demarcation of 38 electoral constituencies in 16 districts just months before the country goes to the polls.
Some of the applicants have expressed satisfaction while others voiced indignation and made suggestions for fixing boundaries of their constituencies, EC sources say.
Those opposing the demarcation proposal include a number of incumbent MPs and ministers. They argue that a change in boundary at the moment will make it hard for them to reach voters.
Some have demanded keeping the boundary as it was before 2008. On the other hand, many have supported the EC’s proposed changes and thanked the commission.
Election Commissioner Rafiqul Islam has said that they will hold hearings on the demands, objections, recommendations and comments on the demarcation, submitted by April 1. “The commission will finalize the boundary after that,” he says.
An EC official, declining to be named, said a minister elected from a Dhaka constituency had called them to express indignation after the demarcation draft was released. Many MPs from outside Dhaka came to the EC and expressed dissatisfaction.
A draft list of demarcated parliamentary constituencies was published on March 14. Of the 38 parliamentary seats, five are in Dhaka, four in Comilla, three in Rangpur, and two each in Nilphamari, Kurigram, Pabna, Magura, Khulna, Satkhira, Jamalpur, Narayanganj, Shariatpur, Moulvibazar, Brahmanbaria, Noakhali, and Chittagong.
As of Tuesday, the number of applications were above 50. EC officials say they believe that they will receive about 100 applications by the April 1 deadline. But they say they expect the number to be fewer compared to previous occasions. In 2013, the EC received 894 applications – 372 of which were complaints.
Sources say at least six applications have opposed the demarcation of Magura 1 and 2 seats and demanded keeping the boundary unchanged.
The applicants include State Minister for Youth and Sports Biren Sikder, Magura 1 MP ATM Abdul Wahab, Gopalgram Union Parishad (UP) Chairman Md Nazmul Hasan, Beroilpalita UP Chairman Khondkar Mohabbat Ali, Kuchiamora UP Chairman Md Jahangir Hossain and Satrujit UP Chairman Sanjit Kumar Biswas.
In separate applications, Biren and Wahab said that attaching four UPs under the sadar upazila (Satrujitpur, Gopalgram, Beroilpalita and Kuchiamora) with Magura 1 seat was not logical and practical.
Biren has said that demarcating the two constituencies will obstruct quick and easy communication. It will also have a negative impact on the overall political culture, regional development coordination and political communications.
Wahab has said that the proposed demarcation will hamper communication with voters ahead of the polls.
Sabina Akter Tuhin, an Awami League MP from the reserve seats, and two others have demanded attaching Kaundia UP with Dhaka 14.
This article was first published on banglatribune.com