Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal on Friday said the government has nothing to do with the Dhaka city polls date though it coincides with Saraswati Puja.
“Arranging polls to two Dhaka city corporations on the day of Saraswati Puja is an issue of the Election Commission (EC). It’ll take decisions [on polls-related issues],” he told reporters at the 50-year anniversary of Sher-e-Bangla School and College in the capital’s Madhubagh area.
He said there is no fear of law and order deterioration surrounding the polls since the people and the law enforcement agencies are responsible.
“We’re working at the directive of the EC,” Minister Kamal said, declining to make further comments.
The EC on December 22 announced that the polls will be held on January 30, triggering criticism and protests from the Hindu community.
In Hinduism, Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge and learning, and so, the Puja is held at educational institutions.
But polling stations will be set up at different educational institutions in the city during the polls, which, many fear will hamper the Saraswati Puja celebrations.
A lawyer filed a writ petition with the High Court seeking deferment of the polls date but his plea was turned down on Jan 14. He has moved the Appellate Division against the order. His appeal will likely be heard by the Chamber Judge on Sunday.
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Meanwhile, a group of Dhaka University (DU) students went on hunger strike on Thursday demanding deferment of the polls. Four of them fell sick on the second day of their fast unto death.
Jatiya Oikyafront convener Dr Kamal Hossain on Thursday said holding Dhaka city polls on the day of Saraswati Puja is an unjust act.