Candidates happy with CEC warning
The election atmosphere in Kapasia has changed rapidly after the chief election commissioner threatened to take a tough stance against the violation of the electoral code of conduct during period of the by-polls at Gazipur-4.
Afsaruddin Ahmad, an independent candidate, and Bangladesher Communist Party-backed Asadullah Badal, yesterday expressed satisfaction over the present situation. The two had been raising allegations against their archrival, Awami League-backed Simeen Hussain Rimi, of harassing, beating and threatening their supporters.
All these dramatic changes were possible following the visit of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad to Kapasia on Monday, Asadullah told The Daily Star.
Describing the environment of the constituency as congenial for the by-polls on September 30, he said, "I praise the Election Commission's strong stance that forced the aspirants and their activists and supporters to abide by the electoral code of conduct."
The CEC during his visit warned election officials that no one would be spared for showing "reluctance" in discharging their duties during the Gazipur-4 (Kapasia) by-polls.
Addressing a views exchange meeting with the three candidates, he also said all must carry out their duties sincerely and neutrally, ensuring that no one could threaten voters or exercise muscle power.
Afsaruddin said police had been accompanying him since yesterday.
"I went to villages and unions, including two remote areas -- Ghoser Kandi and Agalia -- for my campaign. Neither I nor anyone of my supporters faced any obstacle from my rival candidate [Rimi]."
He said he believed the Election Commission would be able to organise free and fair by-polls as it was working neutrally.
Afsaruddin is an uncle of Rimi, daughter of the country's first prime minister Tajuddin Ahmad.
Local political leaders say the vote battle would be restricted to the family.
The constituency fell vacant after Awami League lawmaker Tanjim Ahmad Sohel Taj stepped down from parliament on July 7. Sohel Taj, brother of Rimi, earlier resigned as state minister for home affairs in 2009.
Rimi told reporters that she was happy with the election atmosphere and was not at all concerned about any unwanted incident in the constituency.
The three election aspirants yesterday launched massive campaigns in different areas.
The Election Commission would remain vigilant beginning yesterday until the polls day to ward off any troublesome situation, Returning Officer Mihir Sarowar Morshed said in Kapasia.