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The Jatiya Oikyafront alliance will start its election campaign tomorrow by visiting the shrines of Hazrat Shah Jalal (R) and Hazrat Shah Poran (R) in Sylhet. The alliance will contest the December 30 parliamentary poll on the sheaf of paddy symbol. - A home for your website

Ganoforum president Dr Kamal Hossain will lead the electioneering in the absence of BNP’s jailed chairperson Khaleda Zia and party acting chairman Tarique Rahman, according to leaders of Oikyafront.

Ganoforum general secretary Mostafa Mohsin Montu and JSD general secretary Abdul Malek Ratan confirmed the programme while talking to The Independent.

In the past, Khaleda Zia, who cannot take part in this election on legal grounds, had also launched her electioneering from Sylhet after visiting these two shrines.

Central leaders of BNP and its allies in Jatiya Oikyafront and 20-Party Alliance will also take part in the election campaign, said the leaders. BNP standing committee member Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, who is contesting from two constituencies—Cumilla-1 and Cumilla-2—said that their candidates have already started poll campaign after receiving the
He said that after candidates received the poll symbol, voters of Daudkandi and Titas upazila spontaneously brought out two big processions in favour of sheaf of paddy. The participants chanted slogans canvassing vote for the sheaf of paddy and for the release of Khaleda, he said.

He further said December 30 will turn into a ballot revolution as people want to ensure the release of Khaleda by casting their votes in favour of sheaf of paddy.

Ganoforum leader Mostafa Mohsin Montu said he had also started poll activities in his own constituency. Dr Kamal will start poll campaign in favour of the sheaf of paddy by visiting the two shrines in Sylhet on Wednesday. He demanded creating a level playing field for candidates irrespective of whether they are from the ruling party or the opposition.

BNP, which had boycotted the January 5, 2014 election, is taking part in the elections this time, despite what it said was an adverse situation with its two top leaders barred from the election process.

However, the party will fight against candidates of its arch rival, the ruling Awami League and its alliance, taking about 28 registered and non-registered political parties in the folds of Jatiya Oikyafront and 20-Party Alliance and fielding a common candidate in each of the 300 constituencies.

The BNP, on Sunday, released a list of 298 candidates of the Jatiya Oikyafront and 20-Party Alliance and all of them will contest the 11th parliamentary elections with the sheaf of paddy symbol. Of them, the BNP fielded its own candidates in 241 constituencies out of the 300 seats, while the rest have been divided among it partners in the two alliances.

The BNP also extended its support to two alliance candidates—Col (Retd) Oli Ahmed of LDP for Chattogram-14 who will contest the poll with his party poll symbol ’umbrella’ and Hamidur Rahman Azad of Jamaat for Cox’s Bazar-2 who will contest the poll as an independent candidate.

Meanwhile, Oikyafront top leader Kamal Hossain yesterday said no one will be able to deprive people of their ownership of the country if they get organised and cast their votes, adds UNB.