Saad and Mokbul optimistic about win; Rita expresses doubt about fair polls
Voting in the by-election for the Rangpur 3 constituency has ended.
Although the presence of voters at the polling centres was thin on Saturday morning, the number started to increase with the passage of time.
The balloting started at 9am and continued till 5pm, without any break.
A total of six candidates are contesting the by-election with their allocated symbols.
Meanwhile, Jatiya Party (JaPa)-nominated Rahgir Al Mahi Saad Ershad (plough), BNP-nominated candidate Rita Rahman (sheaf of paddy), and independent candidate Hossain Mokbul Shahriar Asif (motor car) visited different polling centres in the city.
As Saad and Rita were not voters in the constituency, they could not cast ballots in favour of their symbols.
While talking to reporters, the JaPa candidate expressed his optimism to win the polls.
He said the election was being held neutrally and fairly.
On the other hand, the BNP candidate said she found no sign of a fair election as there was the absence of a level playing field.
She said police raided houses of BNP leaders and activists at different places on Friday night, and they were on the run to avoid harassment by law enforcement.
Mokbul Shahriar, also the JaPa rebel candidate, cast his ballot at Shishu Mangal Government Primary School centre in the city around 9:45am.
Optimistic about winning the polls, he said the election was being held fairly.
Three other contestants of the by-polls are -- National People Party-nominated candidate Shafiul Alam (mango), Gano Front-nominated candidate Muhammad Shahidullah (fish), and Khelafat Majlish-nominated candidate Tauhidur Rahman Mandal Raju (wall clock).
A total of 441,224 voters - 220,823 males and 220,401 females - were deemed eligible to cast their votes in the by-election.
The Election Commission is using electronic voting machines (EVMs) at all of the 175 polling centres, including 49 important ones, alongside ballot papers.
The Election Commission created a four-tier security blanket for conducting the by-polls in a free, fair, transparent and credible manner.
Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), police and Ansar members, along with executive magistrates and judicial magistrates, have been deployed to maintain law and order during the election.
Earlier, the government declared Saturday a public holiday in constituency.
The Rangpur 3 parliamentary constituency fell vacant following the death of JaPa Chairman Hussein Muhammad Ershad on July 14.