The constituency is a known Awami League stronghold
Nomination-seekers for the ruling Awami League in Bandarban have stolen a march on rival parties including BNP by turning to social media to give their campaigns a kick ahead of the upcoming national election.
It seems certain that incumbent MP Bir Bahadur U Shoi Shing will be awarded the Awami League nomination as he bids for a sixth term in office in Bandarban - the 300th constituency in parliament.
The five-time MP is campaigning by holding rallies in seven upazilas of the district.
But while digital billboards highlighting the government’s development projects have been erected at many points of the district town, Awami League leaders are increasingly running their campaigns on social media in their bid to reach the grassroots.
The district chapters of the ruling party and its associated wings are sharing information on their Facebook pages by highlighting the government’s development projects and urging people to “vote for the boat” - a reference to the party’s electoral symbol.
The Awami League, and its student wing Bangladesh Chhatra League, have also launched campaign web portals.
“We will adopt the latest campaign strategies to woo voters,” the party’s district unit publicity and publication affairs secretary, Sadek Hossain Chowdhury, said.
Although BNP and its associated wings have no web portals, its leaders are running campaigns from their personal Facebook accounts.
“If the party participates in the election and determines the candidate then we will put a focus on campaigning via social media,” BNP’s district unit general secretary Jabed Reza said.
The campaigning of BNP is being hampered, however, by an internal feud between its two main aspirants: the party’s district unit president Maumyaching; and its former president, Saching Pru Jerry.
Aspirants of other parties including Jatiya Party, Jamaat-e-Islami, and the regional political parties Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS) and United People's Democratic Front (UPDF) are not active on social media.