BNP mayor aspirant alleges harassment, fears vote rigging
BNP-backed mayoral candidate Shah Md Wares Ali Mamun, also the incumbent mayor of Jamalpur municipality, at a press conference yesterday expressed deep concern over holding of a free, fair and neutral election, slated for tomorrow.
"Supporters of Awami League's mayor aspirant Mirza Shakhawatul Alam Moni are attacking my supporters. They vandalised seven of my election campaign offices in five days," Mamun said at the conference held at the party office in the town.
"A false case was also filed against 106 BNP leaders six days ahead of the polls. AL men are making attempts for rigging votes in at least 16 of the 42 polling centres by intimidating the voters not to go to the polling centres on the election day,” he said.
Meanwhile, 39 polling centres out of 42 in Jamalpur municipality have been listed as vulnerable, said sources at the local office of the Election Commission.
"On December 27, I wrote to the returning officer, saying that 16 of the polling centres are most vulnerable ones and there Awami League men might forcibly oust polling agents to rig votes in favour of their candidate Mirza Moni. We have requested the officer to take measures to hold free and fair polls in the municipality,” Mamun said at the press conference.
The 16 'most vulnerable' centres are at Pathalia Taj, Goabari, Pathalia, Kompopur, Bania Bazar, Jangolpara, Railway and Masimpur government primary schools, Iqbalpur Girls' High School, Singhajani High school, Singhajani Girls' High School, Bania Bazar High School, Shekherbhita Madrasa, Technical School and College, Jamalpur Government Girls' High School and Zila School.
Seeking anonymity, a number of voters of different wards under the municipality have expressed deep concern over holding of a fair election as they witnessed vote rigging by the ruling party men in the last upazila elections in the district.
Contacted, Jamalpur Additional Deputy Commissioner (General) Rasel Sabrin, also the returning officer, said the local office of the Election Commission and the district administration will take adequate measures including deployment of police, BGB members and mobile teams led by executive magistrates to tackle any unwanted situation in the polling centres.