Phase-3 UP Polls: Some MPs violating codes
A section of lawmakers is violating the electoral code of conduct during campaigning for the third phase of union parishad polls, an election commissioner said.
Subsequently, Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda has asked election officials and law enforcers that steps should be taken against lawmakers found violating the electoral code of conduct.
The Election Commission yesterday held a special meeting with top officials of the home ministry, local government division, police, the Rapid Action Battalion and others on the law and order situation ahead of the third phase of UP polls slated for November 28.
A total of 1,000 union parishads of 63 districts will go for polls in the third phase of the election. A total of 2.01 crore voters are expected to cast the vote at 10,059 polling centres.
At the meeting, the EC also asked the law enforcers to step up security measures and advance intelligence surveillance at the pockets where usually election violence takes place to prevent any untoward incident, according to meeting participants.
Until yesterday noon, at least 40 people were killed across the country in violence centring on the staggered UP polls, which began in June.
A notice has been issued informing that members of the parliament and ministers cannot stay in the area, Huda said while talking to media after the meeting.
"At the meeting, we agreed that there should be steps such that they [MPs] cannot violate the electoral code of conduct," he said, adding that allegations of throwing weight have surfaced against only a few MPs and ministers.
The EC is investigating the matter, Huda said.
"If they are found guilty, we will take action," he said, while urging the magistrates to stay vigilant during the polls.
The EC have no official data on how many people were killed in polls violence; the commission did not get first-hand information, so they need to depend on secondary data, said a member of the commission requesting anonymity.
"This creates scope for confusion," he said, adding that it was tough for returning officers who are upazila fisheries, agriculture or bank officials to bring allegations of "violation of electoral code of conduct" against influential people, let alone MPs.
It is impossible to stop the violence by guarding every neighbourhood, Huda said.
The police headquarters have asked all police force to remain on alert so that no untoward incident takes place centring on the third phase of the UP polls, said Md Kamruzzaman, assistant inspector general of police headquarter.
"We do not want a repeat of the incident in Cumilla," he said, adding that putting police on alert is a "continuous process".
Meanwhile, the fourth phase of the UP election slated for December 23 is likely to be deferred to December 26 due to the Higher Secondary Certificate exams, said an EC member.
A total of 840 UPs were set to go to the polls for the fourth phase.
The decision of deferral of election will be finalised after holding discussions with the commissioner, Huda said.
The first phase of elections was held in June and September and the second phase was on November 11.