Awami League-backed candidate, Mohammad A Arafat (boat) has won the Dhaka 17 by poll by defeating his closest rival Hero Alom with a margin of 23,207 votes.
Mohammad A Arafat won the Dhaka-17 by-election with 28,816 votes, while his closest rival, Ashraful Hossen Alom (ektara), also known as “Hero Alom”, an independent candidate, received 5,616 ballots.
In the by-elections, eight MP candidates competed. The candidates are Mohammad Arafat (Boat), Ashraful Hossen Alom alias Hero Alom (Ektara), Major (retd) Sikder Anisur Rahman (Plough), Kazi Md Rashedul Hassan Rashed (Rose), Major (retd) Sheikh Habibur Rahman (Sonali Aash), Rezaul Islam Swapan (Green Coconut), Mohammad Akhter Hossain (Chari) and Tarikul Islam Bhuiyan (Truck).
Following the passing of actor Akbar Hossain Pathan Farooque, the Dhaka-17 constituency, which comprises Gulshan, Banani, Baridhara, and a portion of Dhaka Cantonment, became vacant. It has the distinction of being the capital’s affluent constituency.
Monday’s voting concluded at 4 p.m., and authorities reported no untoward incidents apart from Hero Alom getting beaten in Banani area.
Voter turnout is 11%
According to Election Commissioner (EC) Md Alamgir, 11% of eligible voters participated in the Dhaka-17 by-elections. Dr. Hasan Mahmud, Minister of Information and Broadcasting and Joint General Secretary of the Awami League, stated on Monday that a low voter turnout in a by-election conducted just five months before the national election is typical.
“Voter turnout is always low in by-elections in any country. It is also the same in our country. In the USA, no candidate contests in the poll many times, when by-polls are held five to six months before the general elections. Many candidates are elected unopposed,” he said, replying to a query of reporters at the meeting room of the ministry at secretariat.
First time ever, the Election Commission monitored paper ballot elections with CCTV cameras. The commission installed 853 CCTV cameras for the Dhaka-17 by-elections.
In the Dhaka-17 constituency, which includes wards 15,18,19, and 20 of Dhaka North City Corporation as well as the Dhaka cantonment area, there are 325,205 electors at 125 polling stations.
While the by-poll may not have garnered the highest voter turnout, it stands as a testament to the democratic process and the importance of engaging in electoral activities. Arafat’s victory signifies the continued influence and prominence of the Awami League and highlights the country’s commitment to democratic values.
Hero Alom gets beaten, Mohammad Arafat condemns the attack
Hero Alom, the MP candidate for Dhaka-17, got beaten in Banani area, following which he boycotted the election. At 3:20 p.m., during Hero Alom’s visit to the Banani Bidyaniketan School and College polling station, unidentified individuals harassed him and prevented him from entering the building. In spite of the presence of law enforcement officers who intervened to protect him, they subsequently attacked him physically, chased and hit him.
Mohammad A. Arafat, the newly elected MP for Dhaka-17 constituency, has condemned the assault on Hero Alom. He demanded exemplary punishment for the perpetrators implicated in this incident.
Responding to a question, Arafat said: “If the attackers were from our party, they will get organizational punishment and law enforcement agencies will do their job.”
“The attack was carried out to make the election questionable as the day-long voting was being conducted peacefully,” said Arafat.
“I believe in truth. I want the truth to be revealed. I am always with the truth,” he further added.
EC takes action and law enforcements detains two culprits
Two people have already been arrested in connection with the attack on the independent candidate Hero Alom. On Monday, a team from the police’s Detective Branch (DB) arrested two individuals at the Banani Bidyaniketan School and College polling station.
Shekh Shahidullah Haque Biplob, the former joint secretary of the Banani unit of the Bangladesh Jatiya Sramik League, and Sanowar Gazi are the detainees.
Following the attack on Hero Alom, members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) were stationed at the centre.
Previously, Election Commissioner Md Alamgir stated that those responsible for physically assaulting Hero Alom would be punished.
“The Hero Alom incident is an injustice, and steps are underway to take action against those involved,” the election commissioner said at a post-election briefing in front of journalists at the Nirbachan Bhaban.
Apart from this, no incident has been reported in any polling station which indicates the peaceful environment in Dhaka 17 by-poll.