DHAKA, March 10, 2019 : The much-anticipated election to Dhaka University Central Students’ Union (DUCSU) and hall union has drawn a huge attention to people of all classes in the capital city and across the country as everything is set to hold the long-overdue polls tomorrow.
Some 43,256 students– 16,292 females and 26,964 males– of the university will franchise their voting rights in the election to be held from 8am to 2pm without a break.
Of the total 16292 female voters, there are 4608 in Rokeya Hall, 3764 in Shamsun Nahar Hall, 2288 in Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Hall, 1928 in Bangladesh Kuwait Moitri Hall and 3724 in Poet Sufia Kamal Hall.
On the other hand, out of total 26,964 male voters, there are 1799 in Bangabandhu Hall, 2496 in Jagannath Hall, 3155 in Bijoy Ekattor Hall, 2052 in Shahidullah Hall, 2075 in Fazlul Huq Hall, 1814 in Salimullah Muslim Hall, 2301 in Sergeant Zahurul Huq Hall, 2170 in Surya Sen Hall, 1981 in Haji Mohammed Mohsin Hall, 1658 in Poet Jasim Uddin Hall, 1840 in Sir F Rahman Hall, 1346 in Amar Ekushey Hall and 2257 in Zia Hall.
Each voter in Ducsu and hall union polls, can cast 38 votes, on two ballots, to elect 38 representatives – – 25 in the central union and 13 in respective hall unions.
Voters will have to show their identity cards to cast their votes. Some 500 polling booths have been set up in 18 residential halls for the election. Special arrangements were made for physically challenged voters.
All types of electronic devices, including mobile phones, are prohibited in polling booths as archways and metal detectors have been installed to detect those.
A total of 229 candidates are contesting against 25 Ducsu posts. Among those, 21 are vice president contestants, 14 general secretary candidates and 13 assistant general secretary contenders.
Besides, 11 candidates are contesting for liberation war secretary, nine each for science and technology secretary and common room and cafeteria secretary, 11 for international affairs secretary, 8 for literary secretary, 12 for cultural secretary, 11 for sports secretary, 10 for student transport secretary, 14 for social welfare secretary and 86 aspirants are vying for member posts.
In the hall union elections, a total of 509 aspirants are vying for 13 positions in each of 18 residential halls of the university including five female dormitories.
On the eve of polls, the Dhaka University campus, which is considered as the breeding ground of national politics, is teeming with the leaders and activists of all student bodies.
The main competition is likely to be taken place among Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) led Sammilita Shikkharti Sangsad, left-leaning students’ bodies panel Pragatashil Chhatra Oikya and Sadharan Chhatra Odhikar Sangrakkhan Parishad (Quota reformist group) in the central union while in hall union polls, main contest would be held among BCL and independent candidates.
From the panel of BCL, the ruling Awami League’s students’ wing, its president Rezwanul Haque Chowdhury Shovon, general secretary Golam Rabbani, and DU unit general secretary Saddam Hussain are vying for VP, GS, and AGS posts respectively in the central union polls.
On the other hand, BNP’s students’ wing Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal nominated Mustafizur Rahman, Anisur Rahman and Khorshed Alam Sohel and leftist alliance Pragatishil Chhatra Oikya nominees Liton Nandi, Faisal Mahmud and Sadekul Islam will contest for the three vital posts–VP, GS and AGS respectively.
Auroni Semonti Khan, Shafi Abdullah, and Amit Paramanik are contesting for the VP, GS and AGS posts respectively from Swatantra Jote, an alliance of independent candidates.
Former Dhaka University Journalists’ Association (DUJA) member Abdul Aleem Drubo and the association’s incumbent president and former Bangla daily Prothom Alo reporter ARM Asifur Rahman and Abu Raihan Khan are contesting for VP, GS and AGS posts respectively from Swadhikar Swatantra Jote, another independent alliance.
Bangladesh Chhatra Federation’s DU unit president Umme Habiba Benozir is contesting for GS post independently.
Quota reforms movement leaders Nurul Huq Nur, Mohammad Rashed Khan, and Faruk Hussain will contest for VP, GS and AGS posts respectively from Sadharan Chhatra Odhikar Sangrakkhan Parishad.
The authorities have already chalked out necessary steps to hold a free, fair neutral and acceptable election, which is seemed to be a tough one with the participation of all active students’ bodies.
“All is set for the election. Ballot papers and boxes have been readied. Hopefully, the election will be a competitive one amid festivity and enthusiasm,” Prof SM Mahfuzur Rahman, chief returning officer of Ducsu polls told.
All the classes and examinations of Dhaka University (DU) will remain closed on the polling day.
Proctor Prof Golam Rabbani said though the classes and examinations will remain closed, the university buses will ply normally so that the non- residential students can easily come to the campus to exercise their franchise.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) have imposed a 24-hour restriction on movement of outsiders and vehicles on the campus from 6pm today.
Law enforcement agencies will inspect all seven entry points of the campus to help hold the polls in a peaceful manner averting any untoward incidents during the polls, DMP Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia told a press briefing at Shabagh police station on Saturday.
“All the voting centres will be brought under CCTV camera surveillance while the authorities will not allow anyone inside the campus without valid passes or ID cards,” Miah said.
Vehicles or rickshaws without a valid university pass or sticker will not be allowed to enter the university. The authorities have also imposed a limit on the number of media personnel on the campus during the election. Journalists have been given special passes to cover the polls, the DMP commissioner said.
No more than four camera persons will be allowed from each TV channel and maximum two reporters and one camera person will be allowed from each print media house.
Authorities have also requested Dhaka Medical College Hospital-bound people to use the Bakshibazar-Chankharpool route during the polling hours.
According to the hall returning officers, a total of 25 polling booths have been set up at Jagannath Hall, 30 each at Dr. Muhammad Shahidullah Hall and Haji Muhammad Mohsin Hall, 35 each at Salimullah Muslim Hall, Surja Sen Hall and Fazlul Huq Muslim Hall, 22 each at Zahurul Haq Hall and Muktijoddha Ziaur Rahman Hall, 50 at Rokeya Hall, 20 each at Kabi Jasimuddin Hall and Amar Ekushey Hall, 16 at Sir A.F. Rahman Hall, 24 at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Hall, 19 at Bangladesh-Kuwait Maitree Hall, 45 at Kabi Sufia Kamal Hall and 40 at Bijoy Ekattar Hall.
Chief Returning Officer SM Mahfuzur Rahman, however, said that each voter having ID card should enter his or her respective hall within 2pm to cast vote in the polls.
The much-awaited election to Ducsu and its hall unions is going to held after nearly three decades as the last polls were held in 1990.