Rangpur, October 05: Voting in the by-election to Rangpur-3 constituency began on Saturday morning.A total of 442,072 voters – 221,310 men and 220,762 women- started casting their votes using Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) at 9am and will continue until 5pm without any break.
The constituency fell vacant after the death of Jatiya Party chairman HM Ershad on July 14. The Election Commission (EC) announced schedule for the by-polls on September 1.
Six candidates are competing for the seat but voters say it will be a close contest among Jatiya Party’s Rahgir Al Mahi alias Saad Ershad, BNP’s Rita Rahman and independent candidate Hossain Mokbul Shahriar Asif.
The other contestants are –NPP’s Shafiul Alam (mango), Gano Front’s Kazi M Shahidullah Bayazid (fish) and Khelafat Majlish’s Towhidur Rahman Mandal (wall clock).
The ruling Awami League withdrew its candidates in support of the Jatiya Party contestant.
Rangpur Regional Election Officer and Returning Officer of the by-election GM Sahatab Uddin said they took all preparations to hold a free, fair and credible balloting.
Sahatabalso said 3,244 election officials, including 175 presiding officers, 1,023 assistant presiding officers and 2,046 polling officers,are working at the polling stations.
The EC identified 49 out of the total 175 polling centres as important ones, he added.