Promises of further development work are Awami League contestants' election mantra in Khulna while the BNP candidates are pledging “restoration of democracy”.
BNP aspirants are vocal about freeing party Chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail and giving people “respite from the repressive government”.
They have also promised to “save” the state-owned banks.
Sheikh Salauddin Jewel, AL candidate in Khulna-2 (Sadar and Sonadanga), claimed that his party had carried out massive development work in Khulna.
“Just half a month ago, the Khulna modern railway station was opened, meeting a long-time demand of the people of Khulna,” he told this newspaper.
Jewel promised that if elected, the waterlogging problem in the city would be addressed by recovering grabbed canals. He also promised employment opportunities, war on drugs, and construction and renovation of parks.
Akhteruzzaman Babu, AL candidate in Khulna-6 (Paikgacha-Koyra), said, “Development projects will continue if the people vote AL candidates to power.”
He promised that sustainable dykes would be built to prevent river erosion, a major problem faced by the residents of Paikgacha and Koyra.
AL's Abdus Salam Murshedi in Khulna-4 (Rupsha-Terokhada-Dighalia) promised a hanging bridge over the Bhairab river for smooth journeys from upazilas to Khulna city.
Begum Monnujan Sufian, AL contender in Khulna-3 (Khalishpur-Daulatpur-Khan Jahan Ali), assured implementation of wage commission recommendations for over 24,000 people working in the seven state-owned jute mills in Khulna.
BNP candidate in Khulna-2 Nazrul Islam Monju told The Daily Star that his party had been trying for years to establish people's voting rights and get rid of “autocratic rulers”.
He pledged to eliminate corruption and terrorism and recover “Tk 22,000 crore looted from the state-owned banks”.
BNP aspirant in Khulna-3 Rokibul Islam Bokul said if elected, he would develop Khalishpur and Daulatpur industrial zones to create employment opportunities.
He said he wanted to reopen mills and factories in the area that had been shut down, prioritise the IT sector, ensure medical services and develop roads in his area.
“For youths, I will set up free Wifi zones in parks and other crowded places,” he added.
Azizul Bari Helal, BNP contestant in Khulna-4, said his campaign was focused mainly on getting Khaleda released, restoring democracy, and putting an end to the “misrule of the present government”.
Mia Golam Porwar of Khulna-5 said he was seeking votes with the promises to save people from the “repression of the AL” and harassment like filing of false cases and arbitrary arrests.
The BNP candidate is also highlighting success stories of when he was a lawmaker in the constituency.