Female voters queue up for casting their votes at Haragachh Government Primary School polling centre in Kaunia upazila of Rangpur on Monday morning. The voting has begun around 8:00am in 12 upazila parishads of eight districts of the country. Photo: Star
Voting at two polling centres of Comilla were postponed as miscreants blasted several handmade bombs and tried to take control of the centres today during the sixth phase of upazila elections.
The authorities postponed the elections at Chhayabitan Government Primary School and Afzal Khan Technical High School around 9:30am following attacks by miscreants at the centres, said Rashedul Islam, election officer of the district.
Besides, polling at Saha Government Primary School in the Sadar upazila remained suspended since 10:00am over the same allegation.
Meanwhile, police detained a BNP-backed chairman candidate for violating code of conduct in Rangpur Sadar upazila early today nearly four hours before the polls began.
Masud Rana was held as he was using a microbus instead of his own car without any permission of Election Commission, reports our Rangpur correspondent quoting Abdul Kader Zilani, officer-in-charge of Rangpur Sadar Police Station.
As per the electoral rule, a candidate must use one car approved by the EC ahead of the election, the OC said.
Our Patuakhali correspondent reports, Moniruzzaman Mintu and Abdul Majid Talukder, BNP-backed and BNP rebel chairman candidates in Taltola upazila of Barguna respectively, announced to boycott the elections bringing vote rigging allegation against Awami League-loyal candidate Forhad Hossain.
The duo came up with the announcement at a press conference around 1:00pm.
Starting at 8:00am, voting in 12 upazilas of eight districts ended at 4:00pm without any break.
Besides, the by-election for Tarakanda upazila in Mymensingh also is continuing today, as its chairman became a lawmaker in the January 5 national elections.
As many as 182 candidates are contesting in these 13 upazilas, 64 of them for the post of chairman, 69 for vice-chairman and 49 for female vice-chairman, according to the Election Commission.
The 12 upazilas include Sadar in Comilla, Kalukhali in Rajbari, Gazipur Sadar, Sadar, Gangachhara and Kaunia of Rangpur and Taltoli in Barguna, Bijoynagar in Brahmanbaria and Kamarkhanda in Sirajganj.
The Awami League-supported candidates are facing nine rebel candidates in six upazilas, while four BNP-blessed candidates have an equal number of rebel aspirants in four upazilas.
The EC has earlier said it has taken extra security measures to prevent violence in today's polls.
Taking lessons from previous experience, the EC has deployed additional law enforcers to maintain law and order during the polls, said Sirajul Islam, acting secretary of the EC Secretariat yesterday.
Around 20,000 members of different security agencies, including the army, had been deployed at 746 polling centres in the 13 upazilas, he told reporters at a press conference at his office.