Staff Reporter : The Election Commission [EC] is taking preparations to announce the schedule for third phase upazila parishads election in the end of February first week. The polls are likely to be held in the country’s 74 upazilas on March 15. The EC has already sent letters about holding meetings with concerned Deputy Commissioners, Police Supers, District Election Officers and Returning officers on February 6 to discuss the election matters. After the meeting, the EC may formally announce the schedule in the same evening. According to list prepared by the EC, a total of 19,852,097 voters will exercise their rights of franchise in the third phase of the upazila polls where voting will be held at 51,587 polling centres for five days. As per the EC’s plan, the third phase voting will start on March 15 at 74 upazilas, fourth phase on March 25 at 72 upazilas, fifth phase on March 31 at 65 upazilas and sixth phase on May 3 at 57 upazilas. On the first phase, out of 98 upazilas, the polls will be held on at 97 upazilas on February 19 and the rest one at Peerganj upazila of Rangpur district on February 24. Besides, the second phase will be held on February 27 at 117 upazilas on January 27. Meanwhile, the EC has already taken decision for deploying army for five days and other law enforcement agencies including Border Guard Bangladesh [BGB], RAB, police, Ansar, Coast Guard, VDP during the polls. Army was deployed for five days in third upazila parishad polls held on January 22, 2009. The districts of Bangladesh are divided into sub-districts called Upazila (Bengali upojela) or Thana. The upazilas are the second lowest tier of regional administration in Bangladesh. At present, there are 500 upazilas and 509 administrative thanas for a total of 1009 sub-districts. The Local Government Ordinance of 1982 was amended in 1983 and the existing thanas were redesignated and upgraded as upazilas.