BNP and Jatiya Party (Ershad) candidates from Mymensingh-4 (Sadar upazila) constituency are conducting their election campaigns in festive mood as the national election is knocking at the door.
Begum Raushan Ershad, also opposition leader in the parliament, is in the election race from this constituency as grand alliance candidate while BNP fielded Abu Wahab Akanda Wahid as their fresh candidate. Wahab is also the general secretary of the district unit (South) of the party.
In last four general elections, except 10th parliament election, the competition was between BNP and Awami League (AL). BNP's AKM Fazlul Haque and Delwar Hossain Khan Dulu won in 1991 and 2001 respectively while Raushan in 1996 and principal Motiur Rahman of AL won in 2008. Raushan also won the race from this seat in 2014 uncontested.
Heavyweight Raushan has recently started her campaign in the town and its outskirt while Wahab and his supporters continued conducting their campaign since December 11.
In many areas of the constituency, especially in char areas, BNP is conducting their campaign soon after their candidate was finalised. But campaign of JP candidate was late here, said voters.
Locals said as people loyal to BNP were deprived of casting their votes in last general election, they are very active this time to win the race.
As the organisational capacity of JP is not strong in the area, BNP is hopeful of winning the race.
At a recent meeting of grand alliance in the town, Raushan sought all-out cooperation from AL for winning the election.
The young voters have different opinions regarding the two candidates. Talking to this correspondent, some young voters of char areas said the young voters' choice could be 'factor votes' for any candidate.
If the candidates can draw the attention of the young voters with pledges they can fulfill, they can get their votes. The general voters also see a tough fight between Raushan and Wahab.
They also said the election violence is less in the area so far and the candidates are running their campaign almost freely. But they want a safe and secure environment to cast their votes for their candidates.
BNP candidate Abu Wahab Akanda alleged of attacks on party men in several areas including Bhabakhali union on Saturday and obstruction in election campaign and arrest of party men.
If the voters can cast their votes in peaceful atmosphere, BNP will win the race as the party has strong hold in and outside the town, said Wahab.
Jahangir Hossain, president of Jatiya Party (JP) Mymensingh city unit, said they have been conducting election campaign in and outside the town in peaceful environment.
The other candidates in this constituency are-Advocate Emdadul Haque Millat of Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), Dr Md Nasir Uddin of Islami Andolon Bangladesh and Md Hamidul Islam of National Peoples Party (NPP). Except CPB candidate Millat, the two others are almost absent from the scene.
Millat said they are conducting their campaign in almost peaceful environment so far. He also mentioned some stray incidents that occurred.