Streets of Rajshahi city have already been blanketed with banners and posters of aspirant candidates of the Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) polls although the official date for starting electioneering is not until July 10.
According to the election schedule announced on Wednesday by the Election Commission (EC), the electioneering for the RCC polls can be officially commenced after the election symbols are distributed to the candidates on July 10.
July 9 has been set as the last date when a candidacy can be withdrawn. The election is scheduled to be held on July 30.
Many aspirant candidates, especially AHM Khairuzzaman Liton, president of Rajshahi city Awami League, started campaigning a month ago through exchanging greetings with city residents.
A number of hopeful candidates have flooded the city streets with banners and festoons with an aim to woo the prospective voters on way to their homes ahead of the Eid.
Billboards and gigantic overhead banners of Liton are visible now all over the city streets while smaller posters with his photo are placed in road dividers. High-flying gas balloons with his name are also placed at important locations of the city.
Banners of hopeful councillor candidates are also scattered across the city, but those are hardly visible amidst the large number of banners belonging to Liton camp.
“It feels like the election is only a few days away, not the Eid,” said Mosharraf Hossain, a medical representative who travels throughout the city for his profession.
Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul, the incumbent mayor and president of BNP's city unit, alleged that the city Awami League has engaged a group of people who have been tearing down his banners.
Terming the ostentatious campaigning by the AL camp a prelude to their “vote robbery”, he said, “They [AL] have plastered their billboards all over the city in such a way that no one else has any scope for campaigning.”
Liton, however, refuted the allegation, saying that BNP's internal conflicts are the reasons behind their inability to make their electioneering visible to all.
Meanwhile, the EC has issued letters to the campaigners yesterday, asking them to remove all illegal electioneering items including banners and billboards from the city by June 20, Sayed Amirul Islam, returning officer of the EC, told this correspondent.
The EC has also sent copies of the letter to Rajshahi Metropolitan Police and the deputy commissioner of Rajshahi so that the directive is followed strictly, he added.