Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Rakibuddin made the announcement in an address to the nation on state radio and television, while appealing all political parties of the Bangladesh to contest the elections.

The nomination to contest elections can be filed till December 2, 2013, according to the poll-schedule.

The Bangladeshi government has deployed thousands of police and paramilitary troops in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country for fear of violence following the announcement of the poll schedule.

In protest against the poll schedule, opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) announced to enforce countrywide road and railway blockade for 48 hours from Tuesday morning.

"We reject the election schedule," BNP spokesperson Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told reporters shortly after the announcement of the schedule.

He said the BNP had demanded to postpone announcement of poll schedule until after a political consensus was reached on the formation of the caretaker cabinet to oversee the elections.

Despite the BNP objection, the controversial caretaker cabinet was sworn-in at the Presidential House Monday evening.

All six ministers and two state ministers are lawmakers from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's ruling Bangladesh Awami League-led alliance.

Former prime minister Khaleda Zia's BNP and its 17 allies have rejected Hasina's all-party interim cabinet proposal.

Khaleda has asked Hasina to bring back a non-party caretaker system, or else the opposition won't participate in the next election because it fears an election without the non-party caretaker government will not be free and fair.

At the cabinet meeting on November 5, all ministers reportedly decided to resign in the next seven days to pave the way for the formation of the all-party interim government headed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

(Agencies)

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