Opposition activists on Saturday allegedly torched over 100 polling centres across Bangladesh in an effort to foil Sunday’s polls, which are taking place amid unprecedented security. The main Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its allies are boycotting the polls.
The 10th parliamentary election will be held in just 147 out of the 300 seats in 59 out of 64 districts. The remaining 153 candidates have won uncontested because of the Opposition boycott.
Polling will take place in 18,208 centres. The ruling alliance of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday reiterated its determination to take part in the election. Senior leader Tofael Ahmed said at a news briefing that the acts of sabotage nationwide reminded the people of the violent tactics of “Pakistani forces” during the liberation war of 1971
The authorities have intensified security for polling centres in Dhaka. The Dhaka Metropolitan Police said security was stepped up in the 1,021 centres for the eight constituencies.
The anti-election campaign intensified after BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia and her self-exiled son Tariq Rahman instructed their partymen and the Jamaat-e-Islami to foil the elections “at all cost.”
In a video message, Ms. Zia claimed she was put under house arrest.