EC to seek help from ministries
The Election Commission will request the home and foreign ministries to take necessary steps to facilitate the commission for giving opportunity of registering the people of enclaves along with Bangladesh-India border on electoral rolls.
"As the people have to reach the enclaves through Indian territory, we need cooperation from the foreign ministry. Besides, the enclaves are located at the bordering areas, we need security to go there," said Sirazul Islam, acting secretary of the EC Secretariat.
'We will soon send letters to the two ministries requesting to arrange the necessary facilities to conduct the electoral roll updating programme there," he told reporters at his office yesterday.
During electoral roll updating programme in 2012, the then EC also sent similar letters to the two ministries. But the ministries did not give approval to register the enclave's people on electoral roll saying that the dispute over the enclaves remains unresolved with India.
Talking to The Daily Star, several officials of the EC Secretariat said the commission will send letters just for formalities assuming that the ministries will not give approval to it.
There are 111 Indian exclaves within Bangladesh, while 51 Bangladesh's exclaves are inside
India. Of them, only the people of one enclave Dahagram–Angarpota in Lamonirhat are registered on electoral roll because the dispute over this enclave with India has been resolved.
The EC on May 15 started electoral roll updating programme in around 180 upazilas. The programme will be conducted in rest of the upazilas in phases.
The EC plans to introduce a new system for allocating electoral symbols to the candidates of local government bodies--city corporations, upazila parishads, union parishads and municipalities.
As per the existing system, the commission has preserved over one hundred electoral symbols exclusively for national election. These symbols are not used in other polls.
But other symbols are used in local government body elections by turns. Now, the EC plans to preserve symbols separately for separate local government polls.
Women's Reserved Seats
The EC yesterday decided to give directives to district election officers for preparing voter list to hold elections to women's reserved seats in upazilas parishads who will be the member of the parishads.
The election to around 127 upazilas may be held after Ramadan, said acting secretary of the EC Secretariat Sirazul Islam.