The much-anticipated elections to Dhaka University Central Students’ Union (DUCSU) and hall union, being held after nearly three decades, has drawn wide attention of the people in the capital city and across the country.
The last DUCSU elections were held in 1990.
Some 43,256 students -- 16,292 females and 26,964 males -- of the university will exercise their voting rights in the election to be held on Monday from 8:00am to 2:00pm without any break.
Of the total 16,292 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.
Out of 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.
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.
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 grounds of national politics, is teeming with leaders and activists of all student bodies.
The authorities have already chalked out necessary steps to hold a free and fair 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 are readied on time. Hopefully, the election will be a competitive one amid festivity and enthusiasm,” professor SM Mahfuzur Rahman, chief returning officer of DUCSU polls told BSS.
All the classes and examinations of Dhaka University (DU) will remain closed on the polling day.
Proctor professor 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) authorities have imposed a 24-hour restriction on movement of outsiders and vehicles on the campus from 6:00pm today (Sunday).
Law enforcement agencies will inspect all seven entry points of the campus to help hold the polls in a peaceful manner, DMP commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia told a media 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,” he 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 elections.
Journalists will be 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 at Dr. Muhammad Shahidullah Hall and Haji Muhammad Mohsin Hall, 35 at Salimullah Muslim Hall, Surja Sen Hall and Fazlul Huq Muslim Hall, 22 at Zahurul Haq Hall and Muktijoddha Ziaur Rahman Hall, 50 at Ruqayyah Hall, 20 at Kabi Jasimuddin Hall and Amar Ekushey Hall, 16 at 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 said that each voter having ID card should enter his or her respective hall within 2:00pm to cast vote in the polls.