Vol. 5 Num 543 Tue. December 06, 2005  
Front Page

Dinajpur-1 By-polls
Jamaat loses its constituency
Independent candidate wins by big margin

Independent candidate Monoranjan Shil Gopal won the Dinajpur-1 by-polls yesterday defeating the four-party alliance candidate by a huge margin despite a last moment bid to buy votes for the alliance candidate.

Gopal, a rebel candidate of Jatiya Party (Ershad), bagged 1,12,977 while the four-party candidate Moulana Aftab Uddin Mollah of Jamaat-e-Islami secured 50,576 in the by-polls, which was boycotted by the main opposition Awami League.

Our Dinajpur Correspondent reports: Around 65 percent voters cast their votes at 122 centres in Birganj and Kaharol upazilas.

Locals caught two people red-handed while they were distributing money among the voters asking them to cast their vote for the ruling alliance candidate. Later, army personnel picked them up. Some 50 people were held for false voting, police said.

The parliamentary seat fell vacant at the death of Jamaat lawmaker Abdullah Al Kafi who died on September 12.

In the 2001 national election, the four-party alliance candidate Kafi bagged 88,669 votes defeating AL candidate Abdur Rouf Chowdhury who polled 60, 197. Gopal, contesting with Jatiya Party nomination, bagged 40, 621 votes.

The by-election was held almost peacefully. The voting took place from 8:00am to 4:00pm without any break and 2,33,818 voters were designated to franchise their rights.

Locals said people cast their votes against the alliance government to express their dissatisfaction over the performance of the coalition in the last four years.

The people are frustrated with the four-party government due to skyrocketing prices of essentials and the alarming rise of militancy in the district, local said.

Six candidates contested the Dinajpur-1 by-polls. They are Aftab Uddin Molla, Monoranjan Shil Gopal, Abul Malek Sarkar, Nasirul Haq Rustam, Shibley Sadiq and Mohammad Sadeq.