Dhaka, Bangladesh
Battle lines drawn

Battle lines drawn

News Report The battle lines are broadly drawn as the two archrivals in the national elections unveiled lists of their candidates to contest the polls-both projecting respective two-thirds majority in seat sharing with allies. Awami League kept 240 and distributed 60 seats to its allies Friday after arduous reckonings while BNP later named 206 for contesting the parliamentary election, leaving 94 for its allies and undecided party aspirants. The clear picture of fielding candidates under the BNP-dominated greater opposition coalition will be available today when the election commission concludes three-day hearings on appeals filed by those whose nominations papers were rejected by returning officers. Thereafter, the returning officers will allocate symbols after deadline for nomination withdrawal ends tomorrow (December 9). And with the symbols in hand, on conclusion of the nomination process, hundreds of MP hopefuls, backed by their minions in the parties and the alliances, will fan out across Bangladesh on their campaign trails to woo voters. If all's well in the run-up to the most crucial polls in the country, entire nation is going to be abuzz from tomorrow (Sunday)-or even from today as withdrawals will be decided by the evening, leaving largely a 'one-on-one fight', analysts say.

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