Dhaka, Jun 17 (UNB) – BNP on Monday demanded the Election Commission withdraw its decision of using Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in the by-election to Bogura-6 parliamentary seat billed for June 24.
“The Election Commission, which is subservient to the government, has decided in a planned way to use EVMs at every polling station in the by-polls to Bogura-6 seat since it’s a stronghold of Sheaf of Paddy,” said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
Speaking at a press conference, he also said the scope for indulging in vote rigging gets widened when EVMs are used in the election. “Presiding officers rigged votes during the previous polls where EVMs are used. So, we demand that the decision of using EVMs be withdrawn immediately.”
On 30 April, the parliamentary seat was declared vacant as BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir did not take oath of office though he was elected MP from the constituency in the 30-December polls.
The by-polls to the Bogura-6 constituency will be held on 24 June, according to a schedule announced by the election commission on May 8.
The eight-hour balloting period will begin at 9:00am instead of 8:00am in the by-election while Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) will be used in all the polling stations of the constituency.
Strongly opposing EVM use in the by-polls, Rizvi said voters will not be able to cast their votes properly due to technological complexities if EVMs are used in the polls. “It’s seen in the past that many voters returned home without casting their votes due to difficulties in using the EVMs.”
He alleged that the decision of using the EVMs in the Bogura-6 by-polls was taken as part of the government’ a ‘grand plan’.
The BNP leader also said votes can be rigged from a remote location while EVMs are used in the polls.