EC 'gerrymanders' 25 constituencies for pressure of ministers, MPs

Staff Correspondent . Dhaka | Update:

Election CommissionThe Election Commission (EC) has finalised the delimitation of the 300 parliamentary constituencies, brining about changes in 25.

However, no changes in demarcation have been brought to 17 of the constituencies of influential ministers and members of parliament. These changes have been made ahead of the 11th parliament election of the country.

Ruling Awami League leaders were irate at the EC proposal to change the constituency demarcations, but at the end of the day, their wishes have been fulfilled.

The changes were apparently made under pressure of the ruling quarters. The EC has rejected such allegations, however, saying the constituency delimitations were finalised in accordance to a hearing on a draft in this regard, not under any pressure.

The EC published a draft for the 300 constituencies on 14 March, changing the delimitation of 40. The delimitations were finalised on Monday after the hearing. The EC had proposed 23 of the 25 changes in demarcation. The other two changes were made based on demands of the local people. The new delimitations were announced at the Election Commission office on Monday.

The 25 constituencies which have undergone change in delimitation are Nilphamari-3 and 4, Rangpur-1 and 3, Kurigram-3 and 4, Sirajganj-1 and 2, Khulna-3 and 4, Jamalpur-4 and 5, Narayanganj-4 and 5, Sylhet-2 and 3, Moulvibazar-2 and 4, Brahmanbaria-5 and 6, Cumilla-6, 9 and 10, and Noakhali-4 and 5.

After the re-demarcation, Nilphamari-3 comprises Jaldhaka upazila, Nilphamari-4 comprises Saidpur and Kishoreganj upazilas, Rangpur-1 comprises Gangachhara upazila and ward No 1-8 of Rangpur City Corporation, Rangpur-3 comprises Rangpur sadar upazila and the remaining wards of the city corporation, Kurigram-3 comprises Ulipur upazila, Kurigram-4 comprises Roumari, Rajibpur and Chilmari upazilas, Sirajganj-1 comprises Kazipur upazila and five unions of sadar upazila (Mechhoya, Ratankandi, Bagbati, Chhongachha and Bahuli Union ), Sirajganj-2 comprises Kamarkhand upazila and Sadar upazila except five unions.

The re-demarcated Khulna-3 comprises wards 1-15 of Khulna City Corporation and two unions (Ayongghata and Jogipol) of Dighalia upazila, while Khulna-4 comprises Rupsha and Terakhada upazilas, and Dighalia upazila except two unions, Jamalpur-4 comprises Sarishabari upazila, Jamalpur-5 comprises sadar upazila, Narayanganj-4 comprises ward No 1-10 of Narayanganj City Corporation and sadar upazila except two unions (Alirtek and Gognagar), Narayanganj-5 comprises ward no 11-27 of Narayanganj city corporation, Bandar upazila and the two unions (Alirtek and Gognagar) of Sadar upazila.

Now Sylhet-2 comprises Biswanath and Osmaninagar upazilas, Sylhet-3 comprises Dakkhin Surma, Fenchuganj and Balaganj upazilas, Moulvibazar-2 comprises Kulaura upazila, Moulvibazar-4 comprises Srimangal and Kamalganj upazilas, Brahmanbaria-5 comprises Nabinagar, Brahmanbaria-6 comprises Bancharampur upazila, Cumilla-6 comprises Cumilla City Corporation, Cumilla Adarsha Sadar upazila and Cumilla Cantonment Area, Cumilla-9 comprises Laksam and Monaharganj upazilas, Cumilla-10 comprises Cumilla Sadar Dakkhin, Lalmai and Nangalkot upazilas, Noakhali-4 comprises Subarnachar and Sadar upazilas, and Noakhali- 5 comprises Companiganj and Kabirhat upazilas.

The previous commission, headed by Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad, redrew the boundaries of 87 constituencies out of 300 across the country in 2013 ahead of the 10th parliamentary elections.

In 2008, ATM Shamsul Huda Commission brought massive changes to some 133 constituencies prioritising the population size. It increased the number of Dhaka district to 20 from 15 and that of Chhattogram district to 16 from 14 ahead of the 9th national election.

But the same commission in 2011 proposed that the government amend the law for fixing the number of constituencies in Dhaka and Chittagong cities permanently.

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