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Voting in Gazipur city comes to an end

26 Jun 2018, 16:56

NTV Online

Gazipur: Voting in the Gazipur City Corporation (GCC) election concluded on Tuesday afternoon amid BNP’s various allegations of irregularities and vote fraud at many polling stations.

However, the ruling party and its mayoral candidate claimed that the balloting was largely fair and BNP brought the allegations to make the polls controversial, reports the UNB.

The voting was suspended in seven polling centres, including Khartoil Mansur Ali Adarsha School, West Joydebpur Madinatul Ulum Madrasah, Bhogra Government Primary School and DaffodilKindergarten-2, due to violence and capturing of polling stations and giving fake votes, said Dr Dewan Mohammad Humayun Kabir, deputy commissioner of Gazipur.

The polling that began at 8am ended at 4pm without any break at 425 polling stations.Later, the counting of votes began.

The turnout of voters was said to be around 50 percent, reports the UNB.

Earlier, in the day, BNP mayoral candidate Hasan Uddin Sarker demanded the Election Commission (EC) stop voting immediately. He came up with the demand at a press conference in Gazipur.

‘They (AL men) captured over 100 centres since the morning after driving out my polling agents and established full control over all the polling stations by 1pm,’ the BNP mayoral candidate said.

He said the ruling party men were stuffing ballots and casting fake votes in absence of his agents.

Later, he went to the returning officer with written allegations and demanded cancellation of the election.

Sarker cast his vote at Bashiruddin Udayan Academy polling centre in Tongi in the morning.

Ruling party candidate Jahangir expressed his hope for the victory while casting his vote at Kanaia Government Primary School under ward No 30in the morning.

About BNP’s allegation, he said, ‘It is BNP’s old nature.’

Talking to UNB, he said the BNP candidate brought various false allegations to make the election controversial.

Jahangir also denied that his supporters drove BNP candidate’s agents out of any polling station. ‘It’s the weakness of the BNP mayoral runner that he couldn’t send his agents.’

Two councillor candidates—Hannan Mia Hannu and Zillur Rahman Mukul of Wards 26 and 38 respectively—were injured in separate incidents of scuffle that took place during the polling.

Of them, Zillur was taken to a local hospital.

Meanwhile, BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi alleged that ruling party men captured over 100 voting centres and stuffed ballots in the GCC polls.

‘As per the information we’ve received so far, over 100 polling stations have been captured ...a grand festival of fake voting is going on,’ he said while speaking at a press conference at the party’s Nayapaltan central office around 11am.

He also alleged that their party mayoral candidate’s polling agents were forced out of many centres by the ruling party men with the help of police.

Meanwhile, a two-member BNP delegation, led by party joint secretary general Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal, met Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda at his office to lodge various complaints over the GCC polls.

Talking to journalists after the meeting, Alal said they conveyed the Commission their various allegations and observations about the election.

He said police played a fierce role in favour of the ruling party.

The BNP leader said they are frustrated after meeting the CEC as he could not do anything for ensuring fair balloting. ‘He (CEC) requested us to stay in polls until the last minute. We’re sorry as we couldn’t be assured of fair polls by him. We thank him for giving us time.’

Trashing BNP’s various allegations, Awami League joint general secretary Jahangir Kabir Nanak at a press conference at the party president’s Dhanmondi office said BNP could not give its agents at many centres because of its intra-party conflict and the party mayoral candidate’s weakness.

He also said BNP is making false allegations to put the election into questions and create controversy.

Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were used in six centres while closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed in two.

Seven mayoral candidates—AL’s Jahangir Alam, BNP’s HasanUddinSarker, CPB’s Kazi Mohammad Ruhul Amin, Islami Oikya Jote’s Fazlur Rahman, Islami Andolan Bangladesh’s M Nasir Uddin, Bangladesh Islami Front M Jalal Uddin and independent runner Farid Ahmed—are there in the race.

Besides, some 254 general councillor and 84 reserved-seat female councillor candidates are also there in the race. However, a councillor has already been elected unopposed.

There are a total of 1,137,736 voters -- 569,935 males and 567,801 females -in the city corporation.