Final list of redrawn JS seats published | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 11, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, July 11, 2008

Final list of redrawn JS seats published

Dhaka dist gets 20; changes in 133 constituencies

The Election Commission (EC) yesterday issued a gazette notification finalising the list of parliamentary seats with district-wise redrawn boundaries, eliminating all doubts raised by political parties about the initiative's success.
Disposing as many as 3,000 appeals filed against the move to redraw the parliamentary constituencies ahead of the stalled national polls, EC yesterday came up with the decisions.
The EC Secretariat last afternoon sent the gazette notification for publication, wrapping up the six-month-long task that began in January according to its electoral roadmap announced on July 15 last year.
The new list sees changes in boundaries of 133 of the 300 constituencies, while the rest remain unchanged. But seats representing 17 districts in parliament have either increased or decreased.
After massive delineation of boundaries, seven new seats have been added to Dhaka district. Metropolitan areas with high population density have won all the seven additions.
The number of constituencies in the capital now stands at 15, up from eight. It means Dhaka metropolis will be represented by 15 lawmakers in the new parliament instead of previous eight.
The EC on April 29 unveiled the draft list of constituencies with boundaries of 133 seats demarcated. The move got severe flak from political parties that feared it would create obstacles to holding the stalled ninth parliamentary polls as per the roadmap.
The major political parties -- Awami League and BNP -- questioned EC's jurisdiction to the do task and demanded cancellation of the gazette that declared the draft.
Grassroots level leaders of different political parties filed over 3,000 appeals against the draft list.
The EC heard the appeals at the EC Secretariat in the capital and in Sylhet, Comilla, Chittagong, Barisal, Khulna and Rajshahi during June 12-30.
"Some changes were made in the proposed boundaries of 80-90 parliamentary constituencies considering people's desire which did not contradict the criteria of delimitation," Election Commissioner Brig Gen (retd) M Sakhawat Hussain told reporters at his office yesterday. He said the list is now final.
The EC has redrawn the boundaries of the seats in line with the criteria set out in the delimitation ordinance. Besides making sure the administrative units remain intact, it considered density of population and administrative convenience in the demarcation.
Sources in the EC Secretariat say of the 133 seats, 90 witnessed some changes in boundaries as proposed in the April 29 draft list. In their case, EC has either added or taken away new areas between neighbouring seats to satisfy people's expectations by maintaining balance in their sizes in terms of electorate.
Another 10 seats witnessed changes in serial number of their areas that consisted the constituencies, the officials add.
After 24 long years, EC delimited the boundaries of constituencies on a large scale, ignoring objections of the major political parties.
The last time EC carried out a major demarcation was in 1984. In 1995, it brought some minor changes in the electoral boundaries.
Due to the long gap, disproportion grew in the sizes of constituencies population-wise.
According to the voter list prepared in 2001, 17 constituencies had voters below two lakh each, six had voters over six lakh each, seven each had between five and six lakh, while the number of voters in 19 constituencies ranged between four to five lakh.
The rest of the constituencies however were medium-sized in terms of voters.
Intriguingly, the ceiling on election expenditure for all constituencies was same, regardless of the number of voters.
But after the fresh demarcation, there is no major inconsistency between constituencies, and it will be easy for EC to fix the ceiling of expenditure on the basis of voters' number.
In line with EC's decision, each of the three hill districts -- Khagrachhari, Bandarban and Rangamati -- was allocated one seat irrespective of their population.
Relatively small district Meherpur got two seats though it does not qualify for those.
The number of seats in Dhaka division has risen by only four to 94 from 90 as four of its districts -- Faridpur, Kishoreganj, Manikganj and Munshiganj -- each lost a constituency. Besides, a constituency lying between Mymensingh and Netrakona was deleted from the parliamentary map.
Apart from Dhaka, Netrakona and Gazipur districts have also got extra seat, each now having five instead of four.
Chittagong, Barisal and Khulna divisions -- all have seen a decrease in the number of constituencies.
In Chittagong division, each of Chandpur and Comilla has lost a seat, while Chittagong has gained one, raising the number of its seats to 16.
In Barisal division, Barguna lost a seat, while a constituency between Barisal and Pirojpur was deleted.
In Khulna division, only Satkhira lost a seat. The number of parliamentary slots in Sylhet (19 seats) and Rajshahi divisions (72 seats) remain unchanged. Sirajganj under Rajshahi division lost a seat to Rajshahi City Corporation area.
Constituencies with changed boundaries compared to the previous list are Kurigram-2, 3, Bogra-1, 4, 5, 6, 7, Rajshahi-2, 3, Sirajganj-1, 2, 5, 6, 7, Jessore-3, 4, 5, 6, Khulna-1, 2, 3, 6, Satkhira-3, 5, Barguna-1, 2, 3, Patuakhali-1, 2, Barisal-2, 3, 4, Barisal with Pirojpur, Pirojpur-1, 2, 3, Tangail-5, 6, Jamalpur-2, 3, 4, 5, Mymensingh-1, 2, 3, 4, 7, Mymensingh with Netrakona, Netrakona-1, Kishoreganj-1, 2, 3, Manikganj-1, 2, 3, 4, Munshiganj-1, 2, 3, 4, Dhaka-1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, Gazipur-1, 2, 3, 4, Narsingdi-1, 2, 3, 5, Narayanganj-2, 3, 4, 5, Faridpur-2, 3, 4, 5, Shariatpur-2, 3, Sunamganj-4, 5, Sylhet-1, 2, 3, 4, Moulvibazar-1, 2, 4, Habiganj-1, 4, Brahmanbaria-1, 2, 3, 5, 6, Comilla-1, 2, 6, 7, 9, 11, Chandpur-1, 2, 3, 4, 6, Feni-2, 3, Noakhali-1, 2, 3, Laxmipur-2, 3, and Chittagong-2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14.

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