8 candidates boycott upazila polls

Eight BNP-backed candidates boycotted their polls in Gauranadi upazila of Barisal and Shailkupa upazila of Jhenidah district on Wednesday alleging ouster of their agents and voters at different centres.
A BNP-backed chairman candidate in Sujanagar upazila of Pabna, announced withdrawal of his candidacy alleging that the ruling party men are obstructing his voters and agents at the polling booths.
Protesting the incident, BNP also called a dawn-to-dusk hartal in the upazila for Thursday in protest against the incident.
Zahurul Islam, BNP office secretary of the district unit, confirmed this to banglamail.
Six pro-BNP chairman and vice-chairman candidates boycotted the election in Gauranadi upazila bringing allegation that the ruling party candidates were obstructing their followers from casting their votes.
The candidates include: BNP-supported chairman candidate Abul Hossain Mia, two of its rebel chairman candidates — Lokman Khan and Nur-e-Alam — vice-chairman candidate Mehidi Hasan and rebel candidate Sharif Zahid Sazzad and vice chairman candidate Taslima Begum.
The candidates declared their election boycott at a joint press briefing around 09:45am.
Pro-BNP chairman candidate Rakibul Hasan of Shailkupa upazila boycotted the election alleging that the supporters of ruling party candidates obstructed his supporters from casting their votes.
The residents of 97 upazila parishads started casting their votes at 8am on Wednesday in the first phase with participation of candidates of several parties, including Awami League and BNP.
Overall 432 candidates will contest for chairmen, 513 for vice chairmen, and 329 for vice chairwomen in 97 upazilas.
The voting continued till 4:00pm without any break.
Moreover, Wednesday has been declared as a public holiday by the government in the polling areas.
The army and regular law enforces have been deployed in the upazilas to maintain law and order.
There are 1, 64, 78,172 voters, 6,995 polling stations, and 43,290 booths in the 98 upazilas.

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