A video of this young man went viral during the by-election voting in Lakshmipur-3 constituency on Sunday. It shows him casting 43 votes in the boat symbol in 57 seconds.
The Election Commission has suspended publication of the gazette results of the by-elections in Laxmipur-3 and Brahmanbaria-2 constituencies to investigate the allegations of irregularities.
Election Commission Secretary Md. Jahangir Alam announced this decision to the reporters at the election building on Tuesday and said, “It is in the law that if any specific complaint comes after the announcement of the election results, the commission can suspend publication of the gazette and order an investigation.” Accordingly, the investigation is going on. Action will be taken after the inquiry report comes.”
According to the People’s Representation Order, in such circumstances, if the investigation report proves the allegations of vote rigging, the commission can cancel the election or cancel the election of the concerned center.
In the afternoon, CEC Kazi Habibul Awal held a meeting with his four election commissioners at the Agargaon election building.
After that EC Secretary Jahangir Alam informed the reporters about the EC’s decision to suspend the gazette of the by-election results of the two constituencies.
He said, “Certainly, the investigation work will continue with the publication of the gazette notification suspended. (Gazette) will decide on this after receiving the inquiry report.”
The latest RPO amendment (91AA) states- If any person is aggrieved even after declaration of result by the Returning Officer or reasonable facts come to the notice of the EC; Then the EC can take cognizance of the orientation by suspending the gazette notification of that seat.
Jahangir Alam said the EC would take further decisions on the basis of the report received ‘after due enquiry’ on the gazette publication of the results of the two constituencies.
He said, “Information data has been found in one center in Lakshipur and one in Brahmanbaria through mass media. It was analyzed by the EC. The EC has ordered an inquiry to the concerned District Commissioner, Superintendent of Police and District Election Officer to verify its authenticity. A decision will be taken after the report given after the on-site investigation.
The by-election in Lakshmipur-3 constituency, which fell vacant due to the death of AKM Shahjahan Kamal, was held on Sunday. Four candidates were in the fray. Among them Ghulam Farooq Pinku (boat) from Awami League, Mohammad Rakib Hossain (plough) from Jatiya Party, Shamchul Karim Khokon (rose flower) from Zaker Party and Salim Mahmud (mango) from National People’s Party.
Jatiya Party’s Mohammad Rakib Hossain and Zaker Party’s Shamchul Karim Khokon abstained from voting among the four candidates, alleging ‘irregularities’ during the polling.
There were 4 lakh 3 thousand 744 voters in this constituency. Voting was held in 827 polling booths of 115 polling stations.
Awami League’s boat symbol candidate Mohammad Golam Farooq Pinku won by getting 120 thousand 599 votes. His nearest rival Jatiya Party candidate Mohammad Rakib Hossain got 3 thousand 846 votes with plow symbol. 31.85 percent votes were cast in this by-election.
But questions about that vote on Monday arose around a video that went viral on social media. Where one can be seen casting 43 votes on the boat mark in 57 seconds. And the one who is voting is assisted by another worker. Both of them had boat symbol badges around their necks.
In the video, a young man wearing a white Punjabi is clearly seen stamping the boat symbol one by one on the ballot paper.
Azad Hossain is the name of the person sealed in the ballot papers. He was the vice-president of Chandraganj Thana Chhatra League of Lakshmipur. A few days ago, he was expelled by the District Chhatra League for violating party discipline.
Awami League’s Mohammad Golam Farooq Pinku claims that Azad Hossain is ‘no one’ of Chhatra League.
Pinku told bdnews24.com, “Azad Hossain was once the vice-president of Laxmipur’s Chandraganj Thana Chhatra League. District Chhatra League expelled him two years ago on charges of breaking party discipline. But now he is not a member of BCL.
Having won the election, Pinku came to the commission building to meet Election Commissioner Anichur Rahman. There bdnews24.com spoke with him.
Pinkur comments, “Later, it was found out that Azad’s father is involved with BNP.”
Claiming that Azad had done such an act ‘in return for money to dispute’ the polls, Pinku said, “His intention is to question the national elections.” Everything will come out in the investigation.”
The Election Commission has ordered to properly investigate the incident and submit a report within the next three working days. The EC gave this instruction to the district election officer of Lakshmipur on Monday, the day after the polls.
The election commission declared this seat vacant due to the death of Abdus Sattar Bhuiyan, Member of Parliament of Brahmanbaria-2 Constituency and breakaway leader of BNP.
On Sunday, at the end of the day’s voting at 9 pm, Deputy Commissioner and Returning Officer Md. Shahgir Alam announced the result. Awami League candidate for by-election in Brahmanbaria-2 (Sarail and Ashuganj) parliamentary seat. Shahjahan Alam was elected privately.
Shahjahan Alam got 66 thousand 314 votes on the boat symbol. His closest rival independent candidate. Ziaul Haque got 37 thousand 557 votes in Mrida collar stick symbol. Mridha is a former Member of Parliament from Brahmanbaria-2 (Sarail and Ashuganj) Constituency.
Apart from this, among the remaining three candidates who contested the election, Jatiya Party candidate Md. Abdul Hamid 3 thousand 186 votes in plow symbol, Zahirul Islam of Zaker party 561 votes in rose symbol and candidate of National People’s Party Md. Razzak Hossain got 739 votes by contesting on the mango symbol.
Independent candidate Ziaul Haque Mridha accused ‘open voting as well as fake voting’ in some centers with the boat symbol.