Big victory for grand alliance in Ctg | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 30, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 30, 2008

Big victory for grand alliance in Ctg

The Awami League-led grand alliance was heading for a sweeping victory in Chittagong division in yesterday's parliamentary election.
As per the unofficial results received till 2:00am, grand alliance candidates won in eleven constituencies while the BNP led 4-party alliance got four seats and Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in one seat.
Awami League candidates Mosharraf Hossain was leading in Chittagong-1 (Mirersarai), ABM Abul Kashem in Chittagong-3 (Sitakunda and CCC ward 9 and 10), Fazle Karim in Chittagong-5 (Raozan), Dr Hasan Mahmud in Chittagong-6 (Rangunia) and grand alliance candidate from Jatiya Party (Ershad) Barrister Anisul Islam Mahmud in Chittagong-4 (Hathazari and CCC Ward 1 and 2).
Grand alliance candidate from Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) Moinuddin Khan Badal in Chittagong-7 (Chandgaon-Boalkhali), AL candidates Nurul Islam in Chittagong-8 (Kotwali), Dr Afsarul Amin in Chittagong-9 (Double Mooring-Pahartali) and MA Latif in Chittagong-10 (Bandar-Patenga) have been unofficially declared elected.
Of the five South Chittagong seats, AL candidate Shamsul Haq Chowdhury was leading in Chittagong-11 (Patiya) and Akhteruzzaman Chowdhury in Chittagong-12 (Anwara).
LDP President Oli Ahmed was leading in Chittagong-13 (Chandanaish-Satkania) while BNP got only three seats -- Chittagong-2 (Fatikchhari), Chittagong-15 (Banshkhali) and Chittagong-16 (Sandwip) which is a reverse of the result the 4-party alliance got in 2001.
The unofficially winners of these three seats are former BNP lawmakers Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury, Jafrul Islam Chowdhury and Mostafa Kamal Pasha.
Shamsul Islam from BNP's alliance partner Jamaat won the Chittagong-14 (Lohagara -Satkania) seat.
Earlier, the candidates were happy with the peaceful environment and turnout of the voters terming the polling as the “historic one”.
They found the environment that prevailed in every constituency of South Chittagong as unprecedented and historic one.
While visiting different polling centres, these correspondents found an unprecedented peaceful environment in every constituency of South Chittagong.
“I have cast my vote for peace. We want a nice man irrespective of caste and creed,” said Nanibala Chakrabarty, a 100-year-old woman voter, while coming out from a remote Shukhchhari High School polling centre at the southernmost part of Lohagara upazila in the district.
“The situation was very peaceful and we did not face any problem to cast vote in a very orderly way and within around half an hour,” said Alo Rani Das, 65, another minority voter of the same area.
Anwar Hossain, a college student who cast his vote for the first time, also appreciated the peaceful situation of Shukhchhari polling centre that comprises mostly minority voters under Chittagong 14 (Lohagara-Satkania) constituency a stronghold of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami.
The same peaceful scenario was seen in different polling centres under Satkania, Lohagara, Chandanaish, Patiya and the city.
But the slow casting of votes disappointed many voters, said different sources.
Presiding Officers Shamsuddin Chowdhury and Biplab Basu held ignorance of female voters about the new system responsible for slow casting in female booths.
The slow casting of vote also brought down the rate of turnout in many polling centres like Charchaktai Ameer Forkania Madrasa and Chittagong Government School (under Chittagong 8), Ekhlasur Rahman Government Primary School (Under Chittagong 7) and Police Line School (Under Chittagong 9).
Though the rate of turnout was over 70 percent in these centres, chaotic situation and slow casting forced many voters to go home without casting votes, alleged sources.
Non-availability of voter numbers and unclear photographs of the voters were also blamed for the delay in casting votes.
However, a few candidates tried to play the same old blame game to create confusion about the credibility of the election.
While talking to newsmen at Chandanaish Poura Sadar Government Primary School centre, LDP President Oli Ahmed, who contested from both Chittagong 13 (Chandanaish-Satkania) and Chittagong 14 (Lohagara-Satkania) put up a lot of allegations against his rival candidates in these two seats.
But while talking to reporters at Barkal Government Primary School centre AL candidate Engineer Afsaruddin Ahmed refuted the allegations out right.
Oli also alleged that his supporters and voters were facing troubles in three centres at South Kanchana unions under Chittagong 14 where 4-party alliance candidate from Jamaat Shamsul Islam was his main rival.
But after visiting the centres none of the allegations made by Oli could be found true.
Shamsul also expressed his satisfaction over the smooth holding of the polls while talking to The Daily Star.
Grand alliance candidate for Chittagong-1 (Mirsarai) constituency Engineer Mosharraf Hossain said members of law enforcement agencies were alert in all centres and their role was praiseworthy.
ATM Peyarul Islam, grand alliance candidate for Chittagong-2 (Fatikchhari) constituency, alleged that the activists of their rival candidates Kamal Uddin and Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury were barring their voters from coming to polling centres.
Grand alliance candidate for Chittagong-8 (Kotwali) constituency Nurul Islam BSc said the administration and members of law enforcement agencies worked and helped the voters neutrally.
Ershad Ullah, four-party candidate for Chittagong-7 (Chandgaon-Boalkhali) constituency, and Dr Afsarul Amin, grand alliance candidate for Chittagong-9 (Doublemooring-Pahartali) constituency, said the voters witnessed an unprecedented scenario during the polling this year.

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