Zilla Parishad polls
AL leader asks for the money he paid people's representatives cum voters
Following losing the Tangail zilla parishad elections for the post of member of ward no. 11 (Basail upazila), a leader of ruling Awami League, Rafiqul Islam alias Sangram, has asked to return the money he had given the people's representatives earlier.
He has also questioned the "ethics" of the people's representatives, who were the voters in the zilla parishad elections.
He asked the money in a Facebook post from his own account on Tuesday.
Rafiqul Islam, however, removed the post in the face of criticism from the leaders and activists of the party. Rafiqul is the former joint convener of Basail Sadar union Awami League.
In the Facebook post Rafiqul wrote, “There were four candidates from ward no. 11 in the Tangail zilla parishad elections. The number of voters was 94. It was revealed at the end of the day that each candidate had paid some 50-60 voters. Although nearly 60 voters promised to vote for me, some 55 took money from me. But only seven of them voted for me. This is the character of the voters (people's representatives).”
Aren’t you the people's representatives? You have the right to vote for anyone you want. However, you took money from four and voted only for one. What kind of ethics is this? What sorts of services will the people get from you?
He further wrote, “You can know about anything in the world with a glimpse except human beings. Those, who haven’t voted for me, should return the money before I reveal their names. Aren’t you the people's representatives? You have the right to vote for anyone you want. However, you took money from four and voted only for one. What kind of ethics is this? What sorts of services will the people get from you?”
Speaking to Prothom Alo regarding this on Wednesday morning, Rafiqul Islam said, “Each of the candidates had bought votes from 50-60 voters by paying them. The voters had to be paid a minimum of Tk 20,000 each. Some even took Tk 40,000-50,000. I too had to buy votes. None of the voters took less than Tk 20,000 from me. One voter has taken money from all the four candidates! How would I take part in the election if this trend goes on? I repent; I will never take part in any election in future.”
On condition of anonymity, one voter said, “Each of the voters had taken money from the candidates. I took money from one. Two others gave money forcefully. And after losing the polls, they are asking to return the money.”
Sohanur Rahman, chairman of Basail Sadar union parishad, said, “The candidates are disclosing about paying the voters now. One of the candidates even posted on Facebook demanding his money back. I still don’t understand why the candidates bought votes.”
Basail upazila polling official Mani Shankar Roy said, “No one had complained about any illegal money transaction before the election. Now, they are spreading rumours after losing the election. If he had given money to the voters, he did wrong.”
Nasir Uddin Khan with tube-well symbol won the election from ward no. 11 securing 55 votes.