Alleging that results of the recently held Chattogram City Corporation (CCC) polls were manipulated by the Election Commission (EC), BNP-backed mayoral candidate Dr Shahadat Hossain demanded cancellation of the results.
Shahadat threatened a lawsuit unless the EC scheduled a re-election.
Shahadat said, "Rather than declaring the results from electronic voting machines (EVM), a syndicate of retuning and presiding officers fabricated hand-written results to illegally deprive me of victory, which was the plan of the EC and administration all along."
He made these allegations at a press briefing on Sunday at Kazir Dewri BNP Office in the port city.
Though preserving a copy of the results, printed directly from EVM, and submitting it to EC, is mandatory, the presiding officers of different centres were instructed to tear the printed copies and submit handwritten results instead. The original forgery revolved around these handwritten copies, alleged Hossain.
Quoting Awami League's (AL) rebel candidate Abida Azad, Shahadat said, "The presiding officer changed 22 votes to 2,200 on handwritten result sheets. Though there is a provision to take printed results from the EVM and we demanded that EC do so, they disregarded us completely."
Abida Azad, a ruling party rebel councillor candidate for women's reserved seat, alleged that the presiding officer had manipulated the results sheet. In Pahartoli College centre, the presiding officer submitted manipulated handwritten results.
"We will demand that the returning officer prints results from every single EVM. If they fail to comply, we will take legal action against him," he warned.
"The Election Commission promised a free and fair election, but they have deceived us. They even kept an outsider inside the voting booth on election day. When a voter completed all voting procedures, the outsider clicked the EVM button. We will file a case against the EC for allowing AL goons inside the voting booth," said Shahadat.
He also alleged that AL candidates gathered outsiders from adjacent areas and barred voters from reaching poll centres.
"I received only 35 votes in my polling centre, though there are 50 voters in my residence itself; this is another example of vote rigging," said Dr Shahadat.
He also said that when he visited the centres, only 6%-7% votes were cast till 2pm, which the EC showed as 22%. People doubt the authenticity of the election results as the EC took over 10 hours to declare them.
"They engineered the results till 2 am. They kept a technician inside the centre, who was involved with vote rigging," he alleged.
"BNP's agents were kicked out from poll centres by ruling party men and police. The entire administration actively conspired to make the AL candidate win. They turned the election into a cruel game of torture, as over 250 were wounded, over 200 jailed and 1,200 were accused under multiple false cases," he added.