The government has softened its stance on the Union Parishad election schedule and asked the Election Commission (EC) to delay the polls by about a month.
The EC will take its final decision at a meeting at 10:00am today.
The EC was all set to announce the schedule for holding elections to 4,598 union parishads on Monday.
However on Saturday, the local government and rural development (LGRD) ministry, in a letter, wanted to defer the election by two months and hold it in March-April. The EC had planned to hold it between January 4 and February 27.
The EC officials reacted sharply to this proposal, being worried about the image of the commission.
LGRD Minister Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan and Prime Minister's Political Secretary Haris Chowdhury held a 90-minute meeting with Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) MA Syed and Election Commissioner Mohammad Ali on Tuesday.
At the meeting the government representatives changed its (government's) previous stand and requested the EC to hold the election between February and March.
Official sources said that the CEC told the representatives that the EC had followed the appropriate procedures for fixing the election schedule, while the process through which the government wanted to defer the election by two months was unlawful.
Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan told the meeting that as the army, police, BDR and Ansar were all preoccupied with the anti-crime drive, it would be difficult for the same forces to carry out election duties. Against this backdrop, if the EC defers the election, it would be convenient for the defence personnel and law enforcers to perform election duties.
After the meeting, Mannan Bhuiyan told the journalists that the government had suggested, in a fresh proposal, holding of the election between late February and March.