De facto opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party nominated mayoral candidate in Moulvibazar municipality, Oliur Rahman has boycotted the election on allegation of ‘issuing threat to his probable polling agents’. He made the announcement in a media briefing at Moulvibazar press club on Friday.

In his written statement, Oliur Rahman said he informed the administration about the mayhem the supporters of ruling party’s candidate started on 27 January but the administration has not taken any steps in this regard. He has decided to boycott the election as his activists and supporters have been panicking because of the police’s inaction.

Tactics have been adopted to take the results in favour of boat (symbol of Awami League). They are just waiting to implement that on the voting day
Salma Anika, Independent candidate in Kishoreganj’s Katiadi municipality

BNP’s mayoral candidate in Jashore’s Manirampur municipality Md Iqbal Hossain alleged that the Awami League men have been issuing threats to his polling agents not to go to the polling centres.

“Awami League nominated candidate Kazi Mahmudul Hasan has brought people from outside before the municipal polls. They have been going to the homes of BNP activists and threatening them,” he said.

Iqbal said, “A list of 100 polling agents has been made for 69 booths in 12 centres. But AL men have been going to their homes and threatening them. Policemen have also gone to the homes of 5-6 polling agents. That’s why all the BNP men are panicked. A written complaint has been filed with the district administration and superintendent of police.”

The Manirampur municipality BNP candidate’s allegations are just a part of the false and fabricated allegations BNP candidates are using to create questions about the elections around the country
Awami League’s candidate Kazi Mahmudul Hasan

Regarding the allegations, AL’s candidate Kazi Mahmudul Hasan said, “The Manirampur municipality BNP candidate’s allegations are just a part of the false and fabricated allegations BNP candidates are using to create questions about the elections around the country. All the allegations are baseless.”

In the last week, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir also brought allegations against the police administration of threatening BNP candidates.

In a media briefing on Thursday, BNP’s mayoral candidate for Daulatkhan municipality in Bhola, Anwar Hossain alias Kakon alleged that threats are being issued to his supporters and activists. BNP candidate in Ramganj municipality of Lakshmipur, Tofazzal Hossain also alleged the same. He said the AL men have been threatening BNP activists for the last three days since Tuesday.

Tofazzal said he filed complaints with the administration but did not get any result.

Lakshmipur district election official and returning officer Muhammad Najim Uddin said the BNP mayoral candidate has informed him about the threats. He said preparations have been taken to thwart violence.

However, AL’s mayoral candidate Abul Khayer Patwary made a counter allegation saying that voting was not fair during the time of BNP government in this municipality in the past. They used their muscle power to win the polls. This time again they might unleash violence at polling centres.

BNP’s and an independent mayoral candidates in Kishoreganj’s Katiadi municipality, Tofazzal Hossain and Salma Anika, also expressed their apprehensions that the voting would not be fair. They also filed complaints with the returning officer.

Independent candidate Salma Anika said, “Tactics have been adopted to take the results in favour of boat (symbol of Awami League). They are just waiting to implement that on the voting day.”

AL’s candidate, also current mayor Shawkat Osman considers that to be political strategy only.

State-run news agency BSS adds: A total of 3,344 candidates - 229 candidates for mayoral posts, 755 for reserved councilors posts and 2,360 candidates for general councilors posts – are vying in the polls, the EC said.

In the third phase, 37 candidates have already been elected unopposed. The mayoral candidates of Laksham in Cumilla, Morelganj in Bagerhat and Tungipara in Gopalganj have been elected uncontested.

Besides, nine councilors for reserved seats and 25 general councilors also have been elected uncontested.

The members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), police and Ansars have been deployed to ensure law and order during the election. Four-tier security arrangements have been taken ahead of the polls day.

Sixty-three judicial magistrates have also been appointed for five days in those municipalities across the country.

The sixty-three municipalities are: Hakimpur in Dinajpur, Jaldhaka in Nilphamari, Ulipur in Kurigram, Gobindaganj in Gaibandha, Dhunat, Shibganj, Gabtoli, Kahalu and Nandigram of Bogura, Rohonpur in Chapainawabganj, Sadar and Dhamoirhat in Naogaon, Mundumala and Kehorhat in Rajshahi, Singra in Natore, Pabna Sadar, Sadar and Dharshana in Chuadanga, Harinakundu and Courtchandpur in Jhenaidah, Manirampur in Jashore, Sadar and Kalia in Narail, Morelganj in Bagerhat, Paikgacha in Khulna, Kalaroa in Satkhira, Sadar and Pathargata in Barguna, Borhanuddin and Dowlatkhan in Bhola, Gournadi and Mehendiganj in Barishal, Nalchiti in Jhalakathi, Sarupkathi in Pirojpur, Sadar, Mirzapur, Bhuanpur, Shakhipur and Madhupur in Tangail, Sharishabari in Jamalpur, Nakla and Nalitabari in Sherpur, Bhaluka, Gouripur and Ishwarganj in Mymensingh, Durgapur in Netrokona, Katiadi in Kishorganj, Munshiganj Sadar, Pangsha in Rajbari, Tungipara in Gopalganj, Naria, Bhedorganj and Jajira inShariatpur, Golapganj and Jokiganj in Sylhet, Moulvibazar Sadar, Barura and Chowdhagram in Cumilla, Haziganj in Chandpur Feni Sadar, Hatia and Chowmuhani in Noakhali and Ramganj in Lakhipur.

The country has total 329 municipalities. In the first phase polls were held through EVMs to 24 municipalities on 28 December 2020. In the second phase, polls were held to 60 municipalities on 16 January.

In fourth phase, polls will be held to 56 municipalities on 14 February and polls to remaining 31 municipalities will be held under fifth phase on 28 February.

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