AL takes lead amid rigging complaints

Prothom Alo English Desk | Update:

At one stage of casting vote, ballot boxes full of ballot papers are being taken away from a polling station at Labonchara Government Primary School in Khulna on 15 May. Photo: Sajid HossainRuling Awami League-backed mayoral candidate Talukder Abdul Khalek has taken lead in the early counting of Khulna City Corporation election on Tuesday, reports UNB.

In the 49 polling centres including the two where electronic voting machines (EVM) were used, Talukder Abdul Khalek got a total of 20,334 votes while Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) backed mayoral candidate Nazrul Islam Manju got 10,843 votes.

After concluding the vote of Khulna City Corporation elections amid allegations of capturing some polling stations, vote fraud and violence in some areas the counting of vote started within 4:30pm.

The voting was suspended in three polling centres due to violence, capturing of polling stations and forced stuffing.

The polling that began at 8:00am concluded at 4:00pm without any break.

The turnout of voters was said to be around 50 per cent.

Returning officer Yunus Ali said voting in two polling centres - Labanchora Government Primary School and ward No. 31 ward councillor office - were suspended around 2:20pm due to snatching of ballot papers and forced stuffing.

Besides, voting was suspended at Khulna Govt Iqbal Nagar School centre in ward No. 24 following snatching of ballot papers by miscreants around 10:30am, said presiding officer Khalilur Rahman.
Read More: Voting in KCC polls ends amid complaints of rigging

Meanwhile, voting at Fatema High School in ward No. 22 was suspended for two hours from 10:30am following an incident of fake voting.

Two bombs were blasted in front of the Khulna Government Women College polling centre around 3:30pm, halting balloting for sometimes.

Earlier, Awami League-backed mayoral candidate Talukder Abdul Khalek cast vote at Pioneer Girls' High School polling centre around 8:07am, and said the voting was going on in a peaceful and festive manner.

But, BNP mayoral candidate Nazrul Islam Manju alleged the ruling party men have driven out his polling agents from at least 40 centres.

Manju also alleged that his agents were obstructed from entering polling centres in ward No. 22.

Besides, the ruling party men beat one of his polling agents at Zila School centre, alleged Manju. However, he said he will wait until the end.

At a press briefing at BNP's Naya Paltan central office, BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi on Tuesday alleged that ruling party men resorted to various irregularities in 50 per cent of polling stations.

A total of five mayoral candidates, 148 general councillor and 38 reserved-seat female councillor candidates are there in the election race.

Five mayoral candidates, 148 general councillor and 38 reserved-seat female councillor candidates are there in the election race.

The mayoral contenders are Awami League's Talukder Abdul Khalek, Nazrul Islam Manju of BNP, Jatiya Party's Shafiqur Rahman Mushfiq, Islami Andolan Bangladesh's Mozammil Haque and CPB's Mizanur Rahman Babu.

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