The Election Commission yesterday proposed changes in boundaries of 87 parliamentary constituencies in 28 districts, which may lead to new electoral equation in those areas in the upcoming battle of ballots.
Thirteen out of 20 parliamentary seats of Dhaka district went through major changes in their boundaries. In the process, boundaries of nine out of 13 seats in the capital were redrawn, according to the draft district-wise list of parliamentary seats published by the EC.
If the proposed changes are implemented, more than 30 of 87 seats may get back their previous boundaries used in the 2001 parliamentary polls.
The seats are Kurigram-2, Bogra-1, 5, Jessore-6, Khulna-1,4,6, Patuakhali-1, 2, Pirojpur-3, Tangail- 5, 6, Jamalpur-5, Mymensingh-3,4, Netrakona-2, Dhaka-1,2,3, Narsingdi-1,2,3,5, Faridpur-2, Narayanganj-2,5, Sunamganj-5, Sylhet-2, Moulvibazar-2,4, Brahmanbaria-1, 5, and 6. Boundaries of these constituencies were changed when the EC redrew them in 2008.
However, the number of seats in all the districts remained unchanged.
Speaking at a press conference at the EC Secretariat conference room, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad said objections and claims could be filed against the list by March 10.
Boundaries have been redrawn in consideration of keeping the administrative units intact, administrative convenience, and the size of population, he added.
In the process, new areas were included in some constituencies while some others lost some previous areas. This means candidates in the next parliamentary elections in some seats will have to face new people in their constituencies.
Similarly, some MP hopefuls might lose their old electoral areas, could it be their stronghold.
Therefore, once the boundaries are finalised, prospective candidates might need to reassess their electoral strategy.
At the press conference yesterday noon, the EC could not initially provide details of the new district-wise list of parliamentary seats.
â€œAs some correction in the list is underway, I can't exactly specify the number of seats to be redrawn. Once the correction is done, it can be known,â€ the CEC said.
Later in the evening, newsmen were provided with the soft copies of the list.
The EC between September and December last year held a series of talks with NGO and civil society personalities, and senior journalists on redrawing the boundaries of the parliamentary constituencies.
As per the EC's policy, the number of parliamentary constituencies in the capital remained unchanged, though its population has increased since last redrawing of boundaries in 2008.
The number of parliamentary constituencies in the capital was eight before the last delimitation of boundaries. But it increased to 15 in 2008 and the EC had to reduce the number of seats in rural areas to meet the capital's demand.
Against this backdrop, the previous EC led by ATM Shamsul Huda had proposed to reduce the number of constituencies in the capital from 15 to 10 to protect the interests of the rural people.
The EC then argued that if the boundaries are redrawn on the basis of population, the capital will get two or three more seats as its population has been growing fast.
Among the redrawn seats are Rangpur-1, 3, Kurigram-2,3, 4, Bogra-1, Pabna-1, 2, Chuadanga-1,2, Jessore- 3,4,5,6, Khulna-1,4,5,6, Satkhira-3, Patuakhali- 1,2,3, Pirojpur- 1,2,3, Tangail-5,6, Jamalpur-3,4,5, Mymensingh-2,3,4, Netrakona-2,5, Manikganj-2,3, Dhaka-1,2,3,4,6,8, 12,13,14,15,16,18,19, Narsingdi-1,2,3,5, Narayanganj-3,4,5, Faridpur- 2,4, Shariatpur-2,3, Sunamganj-4, Sylhet-2,3, Moulvibazar-2,4, Brahmanbaria-1,2,3,5,6, Comilla-6,7,8, Chandpur-1,2, Laxmipur-2,3, and Chittagong-5,6,14,15.