Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul, Rajshahi
The Rajshahi City Corporation election was held peacefully yesterday, barring one incident at the Chandipur Government Primary School polling centre over a page of its official voter list going missing.
Around 11:00am, Alamgir Hossain, presiding officer of the centre, said a page of the voter list could not be found. Then 20 females whose names were there began venting their anger at the school premises. Some people tried to create chaos by taking advantage of the situation, but law enforcers immediately foiled their attempt.
The female voters quietened down when an executive magistrate went to the centre around 12:00noon and assured them that they would be able to cast their votes if they came three hours later. The missing page was recovered by the time and 16 of them returned to exercise their franchise.
Talking to The Daily Star after the voting ended at 4:00pm, Returning Office Shubhash Chandra Sarker said the turnout was around 73 percent and that election officials had not received any complaint during the voting.
The voting at all 137 centres in Rajshahi city began at 8:00am. Male and female voters started queuing up there an hour earlier amid a heavy presence of law enforcement agencies. Braving the scorching sun, they waited outside the centres and cast votes to elect a mayor and 40 councillors, including 10 in reserved seats for women.
Candidates, security personnel, election officials, polling agents and, most important, voters expressed satisfaction over the election environment.
"Voting is taking place in a congenial environment and in a disciplined manner," said Jannatul Ferdousi, who was voting for the first time at Chandipur Govt Primary School.
Voters, however, said the temporary ban on motorbikes and auto-rickshaws during election time had caused them much suffering. Many people, especially women and the elderly, could not vote due to the scarcity of vehicles.
Two major mayoral aspirants cast their votes at Satellite Town High School at Uposhohor around 9:00am.
"I am fully confident that I will win," said Awami League-backed candidate and immediate past mayor Khairuzzaman Liton.
"If any kind of disaster takes place," investigations will be carried out, he added.
The 18-party-backed mayoral candidate, Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul, also spoke in the same vein. "I'm cent percent certain about my win. There is no possibility of any tragedy."
Visits to different polling centres revealed that some political figures were carrying journalist identity cards and press stickers to visit the centres. Nachol Upazila Vice-chairman Abu Taher Khokon and Rajshahi Rakkha Sangram Parishad general secretary Jamat Khan were among them.
During the day, some Shibir activists tried to create chaos in Dasmari, Mirzapur, Budpara and Binodpur areas but were thwarted by the strict vigilance of the law enforcers.