Bangladesh parties wooing non-Bengali voters

December 26th, 2008 - 12:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Dec 26 (IANS) The non-Bengali voters of Bangladesh, who migrated from Bihar in 1947, are debuting as voters in the upcoming general election and are being wooed with promises and posters in Urdu.Candidates and workers of the Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party Thursday set foot for the first time on a camp at Pallabi on the outskirts of the national capital, The Daily Star newspaper said.

This is one of the 116 camps run under the supervision of the Geneva-based International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC). Posters in Urdu were put up promising better living conditions, jobs and education facilities at Pallabi.

“Left marginalised for decades, they are now quite important to the political parties and candidates in the Dec 29 general election. They will have a critical bearing on the outcome in several constituencies,” the newspaper said.

The estimated 160,000 people, called “stranded Pakistanis”, will be voting for the first time after a court verdict in May this year granted them full Bangladeshi citizenship.

With that, they also got their identity cards and inclusion in the electoral rolls, ending a long chapter of human misery.

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