The defeated councillor candidates blame the presiding officer for the fraud
Twenty additional ballots have been found at the Government Primary School voting centre in Bogra's Sherpur municipality election.
Three defeated councillor candidates claimed that Presiding Officer Bijoy Kumar Das had supplied those ballots to the BNP-backed councillor elected, Shomendra Nath Thakur Shyam, in exchange of Tk10 lakh to help him win.
They rejected the election results and demanded a fresh election. They also demanded action against the presiding officer.
However, Sherpur upazila Election Officer and Assistant Returning Officer Asiya Khatun claimed that the presiding officer had nothing to do with the fraud. The additional 20 ballots were collected from elsewhere and those contained the seals of ostrich, which was the symbol of a defeated councillor candidate.
Therefore, that candidate must have been involved in this irregularity, she added.
The defeated councillor candidates Bidyut Kundu, Taposh Malakar (panjabi symbol) and Nazmul Haque Lulu (Dalim) told the press conference that four of them had competed in the Sherpur municipality ward 8 election held on January 16.
The total number of voters in the government primary school centre is 2,115. Shomendra Nath Thakur Shyam (water bottle symbol) got 486 votes, Bidyut Kundu got 481 votes, Ta[osh Malakar got 429 votes and Nazmul Haque Lulu got 215 votes.
Altogether 42 votes were rejected.
Although 1,653 people cast their votes, 1,673 ballots were counted. Thus there are 20 surplus ballots.
Bidyut Kundu complained that the Presiding Officer of the Centre, Upazila Youth Development Officer Bijoy Kumar Das, had provided those 20 ballot papers in exchange of a bribe of Tk 10 lakh. That was how Shomendra Nath Thakur Shyam had won by 5 votes.
A written complaint was lodged with the Assistant Returning Office.
Presiding Officer Bijoy Kumar Das denied the allegations and told reporters he did not understand how the additional 20 ballots came to the centre.