The streets in the capital which usually bustle with people even on the weekends took almost an empty look on Saturday as thousands of people left the capital ahead of Sunday's national election.
Many of them went to their village homes for exercising their voting right while some others to spend holidays taking advantage of a three-day holiday as December 30 (Sunday) was declared holiday for the election along with the two-day weekly holiday .
Very few buses, cars and rickshaws were seen plying the city streets in the morning.
Besides, plying of motorcycles, except those of journalists, remained restricted since December 28 midnight.
Visiting different areas of the capital, including Sadarghat, Bangshal, Gulistan, Farmgate, Motijheel, Moghbazar, Mohakhali and Gulshan, UNB correspondents found that the members of law enforcement agencies at various intersections of the city were checking vehicles and motorbikes for documents.
Even buses which usually remain overcrowded were seen plying with a very few passengers.
Tawhidul Alom, a bank official, said, "I m going to my village home as I ve got a four-day holiday from December 28. Friday and Saturday are weekly holidays, Sunday was declared holiday for election while Monday is a bank holiday."
Abdur Rahim, 35, who set out for Khulna at 11.30 pm on Friday, said, "I m going to my village home in Khulna to exercise my franchise. I couldn t cast vote in the two previous national elections. Now, I m happy that I ll be able to exercise my voting right after 10 years."
Not only Abdur Rahim but many other people like him went to their respective villages to exercise their voting right braving the sweeping severe cold.
Ashish Kumar Dey, general secretary of National Committee to Protect Shipping, Roads and Railways (NCPSRR) said, "There s no statistics how many people left Dhaka ahead of the national election but the number would be higher than the previous years."
"More than half of voters in Dhaka city are the voters of rural areas. So, they re leaving the capital to exercise their voting right," he said.
The Election Commission (EC), meanwhile, has completed its preparations to hold the general election on Sunday.
Amid tight security with the deployment of over 7 lakh security members across the country, the voting in the election will be held from 8am to 4pm without any break.