Contestants in the December 30 election officially received electoral symbol and a copy of the electoral code of conduct from returning officers yesterday.
The ROs urged the candidates to maintain peaceful and congenial polls atmosphere.
With the allocation of the symbols, electoral campaign formally started across the country yesterday.
“I request you [candidates] to fully comply with the electoral code of conduct to maintain harmony. In the past, we noticed reports in the media that many of you had violated the electoral code. I request you not to repeat that,” said SM Abdul Kader, RO in Rajshahi.
In Kurigram, RO Sultana Parvin told candidates that violating the code would destabilise the electoral atmosphere.
The officers also warned candidates of legal action for violating the electoral rules.
“Our duty is to ensure a level-playing field for the candidates. Violators will not be spared,” said Barishal RO SM Ajoir Rahman.
Candidates or their supporters must inform local law enforcers 24 hours before holding a rally; processions and showdowns using any vehicle or water transport or helicopters are not allowed; using mosques, temples or any place of worship for electioneering is also prohibited.
Violators can be punished with jail sentence of at least six months and a fine of Tk 50,000. Gross irregularities may even lead to cancellation of candidacy.
After receiving their symbols, candidates across the country started putting up posters, banners, and other campaign materials, reports our correspondents in Khulna, Chittagong, Pabna, Kurigram, Feni, Barishal, Munshiganj, Narayanganj and Natore.
However, BNP candidates in some areas showed a lack of enthusiasm in launching their campaign.
“BNP and Oikyafront candidates will set up campaign offices in a day or two and launch campaign in full-swing,” said Johurul Islam, office secretary of Pabna BNP.
Imran H Sarker, spokesperson of a faction of Gonojagoron Mancha, is contesting in Kurigram-4 as an independent with the symbol of car.
“I am contesting the election for development of the area and fight poverty,” Imran told reporters after receiving his symbol.
BNP candidates in some districts kept alleging that officials were biased towards the ruling party.
“We want them transferred.... for the sake of ensuring free and fair polls,” said Mojibor Rahman Sarowar, BNP nominee in Barishal-5.