AL leaders made polling officers
Local leaders of ruling Awami League and its wings have allegedly been appointed as the presiding and assistant presiding officers, violating the election commission’s electoral policy in Patuakhali-2 (Bauphal) constituency ahead of national parliamentary elections.
They were even trained after being appointed. The Election Commission (EC) policy says, any person involved with any political party cannot be given any election related responsibility.
According to the upazila election office, 114 presiding officers, 531 assistant presiding officers and 1062 polling officers received two-day training that completed on Thursday.
BNP candidate Salma Alam of Patuakhali-2 constituency complained, persons involved directly with Awami League were appointed as presiding officers to stuff the ballot boxes with votes for the Awami League boat symbol.
Bauphal Degree College teacher Zahirul Islam Khan, who is also the vice president of Keshabpur union Juba League and regularly campaigns for the boat, has received the two-day training.
According to party insiders, among other trainees, Lutfor Rahman is the joint general secretary of Bauphal municipal Awami League, Malek Mollah is upazila Awami League forest and environmental affairs secretary, abiruzzaman is upazila Awami League’s assistant publicity secretary, Md Moniruzzaman is Bauphal municipal Awami League’s science affairs secretary, Kamrul Hasan Surjomoni is a union Juba League member and former general secretary of BCL unit of the same union.
Mahabubur Rahman is Madanpur union Awami League organising secretary and Md Mizanur Rahman is Dasapara Union Awami League member. Apart from this, other active members of the Awami League have been appointed for election duty though they are also campaigning for the party.
The leaders themselves confirmed that they have been trained as presiding officers and have copies of appointment letters. Upazila election officer Selim Reza expressed his inability to show a copy of the presiding and assistant presiding officer’s list. Then again, he also confirmed that everyone trained is listed.
He said, 108 of the 114 trainees would be appointed as presiding officers. “In accordance with the rules of EC, we sent letters to various offices for recruiting public and private officers as presiding, assistant presiding and polling officers,” said assistant returning officer and Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Pijush Chandra Dey.
“They were trained as per the list. Those participating in the training can be supporters of any party but are not supposed to hold any post the respective parties. Action will be taken if there is any such complaint,” he added.