Many polling centres in Dhaka sans BNP agents

31 December 2018

No polling agents for the BNP candidates were seen in many polling centres in Dhaka during the 11th national election.
The BNP candidates did not engage any polling agent, according to presiding officers. They said they have not received any complaint from any BNP polling agent.  There have been polling agents for boat candidates in most of the polling centres in Dhaka when's reporters visited the sites since the voting started at 8am on Sunday. The agents were distributing slips to the voters from their booths outside the centres.
There were booths for BNP candidates in some centres but were found to be inactive. The police drove away the paddy sheaf polling agents from the Mayor Sayeed Hossain Khokon Community Centre near Dhupkhola field at 8.40am, said a reporter. could not get any statement from the presiding officer on the issue. The Awami League candidates had their polling agents in Hazaribagh Saleha School and College centre, Hazaribagh Girls High School Centre for the Dhaka-10 seat and in Bhagalpur Government Primary School Centre for the Dhaka-7 seat but none of these centres had polling agents of other candidates.
The centre had no polling agents for paddy sheaf, said Md Asaduzzaman, presiding officer for the centre No. 95 in Matuail Union Parishad in the Dhaka-5 constituency. "None of the paddy sheaf agents has come but only the agents of Habibur Rahman Mollah, a candidate for boat and of the independent candidate with the election symbol mango," he told at around 12pm. There were no agents for the election symbol paddy sheaf but for boat and plough in his centre, said Abdul Hannan, presiding officer in No. 90 Matuail Ideal High School centre. A number of seven polling agents of the BNP candidate were seen to perform their duties in Mohammadpur Central College centre.
Only the Awami League candidate had their agents in Mohammadpur Girls High School centre on Nurjahan Road. Shaheen Akhter, an agent for the BNP candidate in Dhaka-14 seat, said the supporters of the boat never allowed her to enter the centre, when she tried to enter the centre. She was later beaten when she tried again to enter the centre, she said.
"There has been no problem in the centre but the voting went on smoothly. No other agents apart from the Awami League candidate came. One agent for the candidate with hand fan symbol came but left the centre quickly,' said Pesiding Officer Jahidul Kabir Khan in the centre.
"All of the voters in my constituency have voted peacefully. I haven't heard of any trouble. There has been less number of voters on Sunday being a winter morning, but I hope the number will increase soon," said Quamrul Islam, a boat candidate in Dhaka-2 seat after visiting the centre in Aminbazar.
His centre had polling agents for all candidates including boat, paddy sheaf, said Subhash Chandra Sutradhar, presiding officer in Hemayetpur Al Nasir centre.
The polling agents of Jatiya Party candidate Kazi Feroz Rashid in Dhaka-6 seat have driven away his agents after beating them, complained Bobby Hajjaj, his rival.
Bobby Hajjaj, a candidate from the Nationalist Democratic Movement wrote to the election Commission secretary at around 11.00 am to defer the voting in 12 centres.
The centres were-Kabi Nazrul College, Gendaria High School, Sher-e-Bangla School, Monija Rahman School, Saint Joseph School and College, Sutrapur Community Centre, Silverdale School, Sayeed Khokon Community Centre, KL Jubilee School, East Bengal School, Farashganj Community Centre, and Wari Government Primary School.
"I have received a number of phone calls since the morning; there have been many complaints," Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukdar told reporters after casting his vote at Ispahani School and College centre at 9am.
"You all know it, then why are you asking?" he said when asked what were the complaints about.
"Now I don't believe I have any responsibility as a commissioner. You ask these people how the election is going on. I haven't seen any polling agent from the opposition."
The polling agents for the BNP candidate were seen to perform their duties in some centres. found the paddy sheaf polling agent along with the agent for the boat when they visited Government Laboratory School centre at 12pm.
"There is no problem here. Fair voting is going on," said Mahmudul Haque, an agent for the BNP candidate.
The teachers supporting the BNP and the Awami League were seen collecting their voter numbers from a booth outside the centre.
There have been no polling agent for the BNP candidate when he visited two centres, Election Commissioner Rafiqul Islam told reporters after casting his vote at the Lake Circus School centre in Kalabagan in the morning.
He has not seen polling agents from any other symbol apart from the boat in the centre where he cast his vote in, said Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda when the journalists asked him on the issue.
"The agents can tell you about it. There will be no agents if they don't come."
"I don't know. Some people are saying they could not come. They haven't said anything else to me," the CEC said when journalists asked him if the BNP agents were prevent from coming to the centres.

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