Mayoral aspirants from BNP and main opposition Jatiya Party (JaPa) have rejected the prospect of using electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the Rangpur City Corporation polls, scheduled to be held in December.
They have taken strong stance against the plan to use the EVMs, expressing fear that its use may lead to vote rigging in favour of the ruling party candidates.
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Earlier on July 19, Election Commission Secretary Muhammad Abdullah told the media that they were planning to use EVMs on experimental basis in one or more wards of Rangpur City Corporation. Abdullah had been transferred to Industries Ministry two days after making the statement.
“How come the common people cast their votes with the machine when even the educated people do not have any idea about it?” questioned a JaPa's mayoral candidate Mostafizar Mostafa.
Also Read- BNP for not using electronic voting machines
Mostafizar, who is also the president of Rangpur city unit Japa, said he believes the government is hatching a conspiracy through the proposed experiment with the EVMs in the Rangpur City Corporation polls.
"Why of all the places, Rangpur was selected for this EVM experiment?," the Japa leader further questioned.
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Rangpur city unit BNP Secretary General and a mayoral aspirant Shahidul Islam Miju observed that the plan to use EVMs is a EC plot to serve the government by deceiving the people through "digital rigging."
“The people of Rangpur will resist the conspiracy to conduct the voting with the EVM,” he said.
Also Read- No confirmation on using EVM in next election
On the other hand, potential mayoral candidate from Awami League, Tusher Kanti Mondol, welcomed the EC's move to introduce EVM in the voting.
“It is not a decision of the government, but of the Election Commission. It will rather give opportunity to the people of Rangpur to cast their votes in digital method,” said Tusher, who is the secretary general of Rangpur city unit Awami League.