The by-election to Chattogram-8 constituency which fell vacant following the death of MoinUddin Khan Badal will be held on Monday.The Election Commission has already completed all the preparations to smoothly hold the election, said senior election officer of Chattogram M Munir Hossain Khan, reports UNB.
In the election, the ballots will be cast through electronic voting machines (EVMs) from 9am to 5pm without any break.Munir said mock voting was arranged at all the 170 centers to remove fears from voters' minds about EVMs.
Although BNP candidate is concerned about the EVM, the Election Commission says it will be possible to get hundred percent of fairness in election through the EVM.
Meanwhile, there is mixed reaction among the voters about the electoral environment and voting in EVMs. The reporter spoke to a number of voters who came to participate in mock voting on Saturday.
Voters say, previously we at least knew in which mark we put our votes. But now that it is automatic, I do not know where I am voting and where it is going.
After voting the symbol is visible on the machine for a few seconds and the next voter can see it. It's embarrassing. Again, many voters feel that EVM is a very easy procedure. They say voting is easy without any hassle in EVM. One does not have the opportunity to vote for another.
Even though there is disagreement with the EVM, everyone agrees on the Kalurghat Bridge issue. Voters demand that no matter who wins, they want Kalurghat Bridge visible.
On the other hand, candidates are giving assurances to fulfill the expectations of the voters. Almost all of them want to pass the election by depending on the Kalurghat Bridge issue.
However, the BNP is still in a hard position on the question of EVM. The party alleges tampering with voting in EVMs in the Chittagong-9 constituency by-elections held last year.
BNP candidate Abu Sufian told that there was considerable doubt about the use of EVMs. Because in the last elections where EVM was used, there was tempering with voting in all the seats.
We have no confidence in this method. Besides, the Awami supporters have attacked us since launching the election campaign. Recently, a false case has been filed for attacking the Awami League's election office. In addition, there are allegations that threats are being made not to go to the voting centers.
Six candidates, including Awami League's Moslem Uddin Ahmed and BNP's Abu Sufian, are contesting the by-polls.
The four other contestants are Chairman of Bangladesh Nationalist Front (BNF) SM Abul Kalam Azad, Syed Mohammad Farid Uddin of Islamic Front Bangladesh, Bapon Dasgupta of NAP and independent runner Mohammad Emdadul Haque.
Meanwhile, five platoons of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and six platoons of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) have been deployed in the election areas along with regular law enforcers for maintaining the law and order.
The Chattogram-8 constituency is comprised of five wards (ward No 3-7) of Chittagong City Corporation and Boalkhali upazila except Sripur and Kharandip unions.
In this regard, Chattogram Regional Election Officer and Returning Officer Mohammad Hasanuzzaman said that all preparations had already been taken to ensure to conduct fair elections. All the centers are important to us. Law enforcing teams will be deployed at all centers.
Earlier, the Chief Election Commissioner went to Boalkhali to see the electoral environment on January 7th. He also claimed that there was no risky center. However, several more important centers have been identified. Adequate arrangements have been made in this regard.
Meanwhile, electoral equipment is being sent to the polling station on Sunday ahead of the elections. In addition, a control room has been opened in the gymnasium of MA Aziz Stadium in the city.
The total number of voters in this seat is 4, 75, 988. Of these, Boalkhali Upazila have 1, 64, 000 voters. And the number of voters in the city is 3, 11, 988. The number of polling booths is 1,252.
Moin Uddin Khan Badal, the executive president of a faction of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (Jasod), was elected MP with Awami League's symbol 'Boat' in the last general election.He died at a hospital in Bangalore, India on November 7 last at the age of 67.
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