"What kind of disciplinary measure is it if I can't cast my vote?"
Voting in Cumilla City Corporation election is underway, marked by a lack of enthusiasm and excitement among voters.
While visiting at least 10 voting centres till 11am, our reporter Mohammad Al-Masum Molla saw gatherings of ruling party leaders and activists and supporters of Awami League mayoral candidate Arfanul Haque Rifat in front of almost all the centres.
And inside the centres, there was no rush -- only a few voters were seen casting their votes.
Modern School centre was the exception where hundreds of women were seen standing in long line to cast their votes. But the line was moving very slowly due to "mismanagement", the voters claimed.
Many of the women voters were leaving the centre after waiting in the long queue.
Habiba Sulhana, a resident of Thakurpara, said around 10:45am, "l have been standing in this line for the last one hour. And now, I am returning home."
"What kind of preparation and disciplinary measures have the government taken that I couldn't cast my vote?" -- she asked.
Many elderly women fell ill standing in the long queue in the unbearable heat. Many were seen splashing water on their head.
Asked, Presiding Officer Mofizul Haque said there are two polling centres at Modern School where the number of voters is 5,000.
It was raining since morning, so there was no rush at that time, he said.
But after the rain stopped, a huge number of people were rushing to the centre at a time, which made the line longer. But it will be resolved soon, he added.
Voting in Cumilla City Corporation elections began at 8:00am and will continue until 4:00pm without any break.
Awami League mayoral candidate Arfanul Haque Rifat is contesting the polls against his main rival Monirul Haque Sakku, who is running in the election without party backing.
Former BNP leader Sakku, also the immediate past mayor of the Cumilla City Corporation (CCC), was expelled by his party for taking part in the polls going against the party's decision.
A total of 229,920 voters, including 117,092 women, are eligible to exercise their franchise in the CCC polls.