AL runners win Dhaka-5, Naogaon-6 by-polls | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 18, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:14 AM, October 18, 2020

AL runners win Dhaka-5, Naogaon-6 by-polls

The ruling Awami League candidates have secured their places in both Dhaka-5 and Naogaon-6 constituencies in the by-polls amid noticeably low voter turnout.

According to unofficial results, Kazi Monirul Islam got elected from Dhaka-5 whereas Anwar Hossain was elected from Naogaon-6, defeating their rivals by vast number of votes.

Monirul got 45,642 votes in Dhaka-5 whereas his rival Salahuddin Ahmed, candidate of the BNP, bagged 2,926 votes.

The voter turnout in the constituency was 10.43 percent.

In Naogaon-6 by-polls, Anwar Hossain defeated his archrival, BNP's Md Rezaul Islam, by 100,917 votes.

The voter turnout in the constituency was 36.4 percent.

The by-polls in both constituencies started at 9:00am and continued till 5:00pm without a break.

In Dhaka-5, not a single vote was cast in several polling stations, including the one at Barnamala Adarsha High School and College, till 2:00pm.

In different polling stations, supporters of Kazi Monirul Islam were seen trying to cast votes in groups with the assistance of polling officials and in presence of law enforcement agencies.

They, however, finally failed as the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) did not recognise them as valid voters.

Members of law enforcement agencies -- police and ansar -- and the Election Commission officials were seen inactive while people were entering polling booths wearing badges with boat symbols, the electoral symbol of the ruling party.

A correspondent of The Daily Star was also barred from entering the polling station at Sheikhdi Abdullah Molla High School (college building) by the AL men.

The correspondent was told that the polling officials were taking lunch.

While arguing with them, this correspondent saw that some five to six people, wearing badges of boat symbol, were asking the polling officer inside that booth to make arrangements for them to cast their votes.

They later forced this correspondent to leave, threatening dire consequences if they did not.

The total number of voters in Dhaka-5 constituency is around 49,500 but only 3,011 votes were cast till 3:30pm.

Polling agents of Salahuddin Ahmed, candidate of the BNP, were not seen in any of the 18 polling stations in the constituency.

Meanwhile, Sheikh Rejaul Islam, the BNP candidate of Naogaon-6, rejected the voting, alleging different irregularities in the election.

He made the announcement around one-and-a-half hours before the by-polls ended.

During a press conference at 3.30pm, Rejaul said his voters were barred while his agents were driven out at most of the total 104 centers.

Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda told reporters that the by-polls were held in a free and fair atmosphere as they did not receive any allegation.

He also pointed out that the coronavirus situation could be the reason for the low voter turnout in the by-polls.

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