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25 candidates call it quits on election day

Staff Correspondent

At least 25 candidates, mostly independent ones, reportedly withdrew from the race in the 10th parliamentary election on Sunday in protest against vote rigging and beating up of their polling agents in several districts including Dhaka, Brahmanbaria, Laxmipur, Sirajganj, Barisal and Jamalpur.
Brahmanbaria 3 constituency’s Jatiya Party-JP candidate M Farid Ahmad had boycotted the election as he was unable to cast his vote.
He alleged that his vote was cast by someone else before he entered the Annada Government High School polling station in Brahmanbaria town at about 11am.
He also described the election as ‘selection’.
Meanwhile, New Age Brahmanbaria correspondent said in Brahmanbaria 5 constituency M Mamunur Rashid, candidate of Jatiya Party, also withdrew from the race at noon protesting vote rigging by Awami League candidate Fayzur Rahman’s polling agents and supporters who allegedly forced his polling agents to leave 105 polling booths among the 126 booths.
15 individual candidates also withdrew from the race accusing physical attacks and forcible ouster of their polling agents from the poll booths and massive vote rigging by the ruling party activists in different districts including Dhaka, Sirajganj, Jhineidah, Barguna and Narayanganj.
In Dhaka 6 and Dhaka 15 constituencies, independent candidates M Saidur Rahman Shahid and M Ekhlas Uddin Mollah boycotted the election protesting vote rigging and intimidations by ruling party activists.
They also alleged that AL candidates’ associates forced their polling agents to leave the polling booths in both the constituencies.
In Sirajganj 5 constituency, independent candidate M Ataur Rahman boycotted the election by arranging a press briefing claiming that, his polling agents were beaten up by the supporters of ruling alliance.
Independent candidates of Jamalpur-2 and Barisal-2 constituencies, M Atikur Rahman and Sabina Akhter also withdrew from the race protesting ‘massive vote rigging and fake votes’ by the ruling party-backed supporters and polling agents.
Sabina said that it has been proved that no free fair election could be possible under the present AL-led government.
Meanwhile, Golam Kibria Tipu, JP candidate for Barisal-3 constituency announced boycotting election at 2:30pm and claimed his voters and polling agents were ousted or barred from performing duties by the WP cadres supported by local AL activists and leaders.
Abul Hossain Shikdar, Barguna-2 independent candidate, announced his withdrawal from election alleging vote rigging, capturing of vote centers, ousting of voters and polling agents by the supporters of AL candidate.
New Age Jhenaidah correspondent reported that only independent candidate of Jhenaidah-1 constituency Nayeb Ali Joarder had withdrawn from the race alleging vote rigging by the ruling party candidate’s men.
In Laxmipur 4 constituency, two independent candidates Azad Uddin Chowdhury and AKM Sharif Uddin boycotted the election on Sunday morning alleging that the ruling party candidate’s polling agents were involved in vote rigging in 65 poll booths of the constituency.
Both the independent and JP candidates of Narayanganj 1 constituency, M Showkat Ali and M Zoynal Abedin Chowdhury withdrew from contest bringing allegation against AL candidate Golam Dastagir Gazi and his associates of forcibly ousting their polling agents from the polling centers.
Besides, Independent candidate of Munshiganj 2 constituency Mahbub Uddin Ahmed, Patuakhali 1 constituency’s independent candidate M Shafiqul Islam, Cox’s Bazar 4 JP candidate Taha Yeahia, independent candidate Amirul islam of Noakhali 6 constituency, JSD candidates Afzal Hosain Joki and Sadequl Islam of Manikganj 1 and Lalmonirhaat 1 constituencies and in Sherpur 2 constituencies’ independent candidate Badiuzzaman Badsha, in Chittagong 12 constituencies’ JP candidate Sirajul Islam, Mymensingh 11 constituency’s’ independent candidate M Sahadat Islam Chowdhury, Dhaka 5 constituency’s’ Tarikat Federation candidate Arzu Shah Sayedabadi, Feni 3 constituency’s’ JP candidate Anwarul Kabir and Jamalpur 1 constituency’s’ independent candidate Aziz Ahmed Hasan also withdrew from the polls in the protest on similar allegations.
Only 12 out of 41 registered political parties, including the ruling Awami League and its coalition partners, fielded 390 candidates including 109 independent candidates.

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