Jatiya Party (Ershad) backed mayoral candidate Iqbal Hossain Taposh and independent candidate Kamrul Islam Rupon alleged that voters are being barred from coming to the polling stations as Barishal City Corporation (BCC) election is underway.
Moreover, agents were forced to leave the centres, the candidates said shortly after the election began amid much enthusiasm.
They also said the process to vote was slow at the polling stations.
Taposh who is contesting with the electoral symbol ‘plough’ alleged that women voters are being barred from coming to the polling stations.
“Activists of Chhatra and Jubo League are barring the voters and their target is a low voter turnout,” he claimed, saying that voters are being discouraged and intimidated outside the polling centres.
The Jatiya party-backed candidate made the remarks after casting his vote at Syed Abul Manan DDF Alim Madrasah centre on Gorostan road in the city.
On the other hand, independent candidate Rupon who cast his vote at Alekanda Govt Primary School centre alleged that his agents are barred from entering polling stations and some were forced to leave the centres.
He also said the environment is not favourable for a fair election.
Voting in the BCC election began at 8 am and will continue till 4 pm without any break. Electronic voting machines are being used at all the centres to take votes.
Seven candidates are competing for the mayoral post in the Barishal city polls.
Besides, 119 candidates are in the race for the post of general councillor and 42 candidates for the reserved councillor post.
A total of 276,298 voters will be able to cast their votes in 126 polling stations under 30 wards. Of the centres, 106 are considered “vulnerable”.
Ten platoons of the BGB remain deployed in the BCC election along with 4,500 members of the law enforcing agencies.