Dhaka,  Wednesday
29 May 2024

12th National Election

Laminated posters run rampant defying electoral code of conduct

Ripon Islam Sheikh, Nilphamari

Published: 07:11, 3 January 2024

Laminated posters run rampant defying electoral code of conduct

Photo: Messenger

In the lead-up to the 12th National Election, a concerning trend has emerged as laminated posters, wrapped in plastic polythene, are spreading not only within the district town but also reaching the villages in Nilphamari. 

On Monday (1 January), various areas of the district witnessed posters of parliamentary candidates adorned with election symbols, suspended on ropes, and disturbingly, 45-50 percent of these posters were found to be encased in plastic.

This surge in the use of laminated posters has prompted the court to intervene, issuing a rule questioning why the production and use of such posters wrapped in polythene should not be banned nationwide. The ruling named the Secretary of the Ministry of Forest and Environment, the Secretary of the Election Commission, the Secretary of Health, and the Chief Executive Officer of the two City Corporations as defendants. This action echoes a previous High Court order from January 22, 2020, which aimed to halt the production and use of polythene-wrapped posters specifically in city elections to safeguard the environment.

The looming 12th National Election has intensified campaigning throughout the entire district, raising concerns about the significant increase in plastic waste, estimated to exceed 5-6 thousand tons. In 2020, the Election Commission had issued instructions to prohibit such posters alongside the court's ban. However, during the last UP election campaign, the District Returning Officer failed to enforce these directives.

Specific areas such as Domar municipal market, Batter Mor, Railghunti, Sadar of Dimla upazila, Shutibari Bazar, Nautara, and Jaldhaka municipal area have become hotspots for laminated posters featuring candidates such as Bir Muktijodha Aftab Uddin Sarkar, Zafar Iqbal Siddiqui, Taslim Uddin, Rana Mohammad Sohail, Ahsan Adelur Rahman Adel, Siddikul Alam Siddique, and others.

Local residents express growing concerns over the environmental impact of this poster invasion. Asadul Islam from Jaldhaka pump area emphasizes the need for the administration and the returning officer to take immediate steps to resist the proliferation of laminated posters. Abdur Razzak notes that administrative vehicles are constantly on the move, yet no action is taken to address the issue, with laminated posters appearing in every neighborhood.

When confronted about the situation, several candidates attributed the spread of laminated posters to over-enthusiastic workers and supporters. They assured that corrective actions would be taken, with some claiming ignorance of the matter. Deputy Commissioner and Returning Officer Pankaj Ghosh reiterated that the use of plastic in election campaigns is strictly prohibited, constituting a violation of the election code of conduct.

While efforts to remove posters have begun, he assures that further actions will be taken to address the issue, and any candidate involved will face legal consequences. As the campaign intensifies, the administration faces the challenge of curbing the environmental impact of laminated posters and enforcing regulations to ensure a cleaner and more sustainable election process.

Despite assurances from candidates, the Deputy Commissioner emphasized the strict prohibition of plastic use in campaigns. Prompt action is required to address environmental concerns and enforce regulations effectively.

Messenger/Sun Yath