Municipality Polls: AL candidates sweep second phase too | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 18, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:35 AM, January 18, 2021

Municipality Polls: AL candidates sweep second phase too

The ruling Awami League candidates clinched sweeping victories in the second phase of the municipality elections.

AL men won 46 out of 60 municipalities that went to polls on Saturday, according to the unofficial results announced by the returning officers.

AL mayor candidates in four municipalities -- Kazipur of Sirajganj, Bhangura of Pabna, Pirojpur Sadar and Tarabo of Narayanganj -- were elected unopposed.

Forty-two other AL men were victorious in the polls, marred by stray incidents of violence and irregularities.

AL's arch-rival BNP contenders gained victory in four municipalities and independent candidates in eight. One candidate each from the Jatiya Party and the Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal won the elections. 

During the first phase of polls on December 28, AL contenders achieved success in 18 municipalities out of 24, BNP candidates in two municipalities and independent candidates in three.

The Election Commission has been holding the municipal polls in four phases due to the pandemic.

Meanwhile, bringing allegations of election manipulation, Kazi Khan, BNP candidate in Gazipur's Sreepur municipality, rejected the results and demanded re-election, reports our Gazipur correspondent.

At a press conference in his main election office in the municipality, he alleged that his polling agents were driven out from the polling centres. "AL men forcibly cast votes by pressing button for boat symbol."

Returning Officer Istafizul Islam said when he got allegations about driving out agents, he took steps immediately.

At another press conference held at his home, Mohammad Mohsin, Sreepur municipality ward-7 candidate, alleged that some criminals attacked his supporters after the polls.

Contacted, Khondokar Imam Hossain, officer-in-charge of Sreepur Police Station, said they were investigating the incident.

Meanwhile, police formed a four-member committee to probe the killing of councillor-elect Tarikul Islam, 45, in Sirajganj municipality on Saturday night in post-polls violence, said Muzahidul Islam, additional DIG of Rajshahi range.

He, along with high-placed police officials, visited the spot yesterday, reports our Pabna correspondent.

"A four-member probe committee, led by the superintendent of Sirajganj police, is investigating the incident. The criminals must be punished," the DIG told journalists.

A tense situation is prevailing in Sirajganj after the killing of the councillor-elect while celebrating his victory.

The victim's family alleged that supporters of AL men and councillor candidate Shahadat Hossain Buddin, defeated in the polls, killed Tarikul.

"I lost my husband and my family lost the wage-earner. How can we survive?" said victim's wife Hasi Khatun.

EC Senior Secretary Md Alamgir claimed that elections were held peacefully. Violence and killing was never expected. "There will be investigations in these connections," he said.

14.65 LAKH NEW VOTERS

The Election Commission yesterday disclosed the update of the new voter list, saying 14.65 lakh new voters were added to the draft list.

Alamgir at a press briefing said officials would do corrections and resolve disputes by February 7, and the final list would be published on March 1.

The current number of electorates is 11.13 crore, according to the draft list. Before the last parliamentary polls, the number of voters was 10.42 crore.

He said the names of dead voters were not removed from the draft list, and removal of their names would take place before publishing of the final voter list.

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