Voting in the much-anticipated Dhaka city polls began today amid concerns over the use of EVMs.
The polling started at 8:00am and will continue till 4:00pm.
A total of 13 mayoral candidates -- six in the Dhaka north and seven in south city corporations -- are contesting the polls.
Around 50 lakh voters -- 30,35,621 in DNCC and 27,67,488 in DSCC -- will exercise their franchise using 14,000 EVMs.
For the first time in the electoral history of Bangladesh, only EVMs are being used in a major election that already appeared as a prestigious battle of ballots between the two political rivals.
If everything goes smoothly, this will be a big boost for the machines. It will also help restore people's confidence in the Election Commission that has been implementing a Tk3,825 crore project for modernising the voting system by abandoning conventional ballot papers and boxes.
Major technical glitches faced by the machines, if any, during the polling may jeopardise the future of the project and intensify the ongoing controversy over its use in future.
Elections may not be fair: Tabith Awwal
Dhaka North City Corporation Mayoral candidate Tabith Awwal said the city corporation elections may not be fair.
He made the comment around 8:10am this morning after casting his vote at Manarat Dhaka International School and College in Gulshan.
He said that athough the Election Commission was supposed to assign magistrates at every polling area, but he did not find any in the polling centre.
Asked about the newly-introduced EVM machine, Tabith claimed that the machine broke down, which is yet to be fixed.
Exercise your voting right: Atiqul Islam
Dhaka North City Corporation Mayoral candidate Atiqul Islam has urged the city residents to exercise their voting rights.
He was spotted with his wife and daughter after casting vote this morning at Nawab Habibullah Model School and College in Uttara of Dhaka.
The mayoral candidate told reporters polls are taking place in a fair and festive manner.
EVM is unfriendly: Ishraque Hossain
BNP-backed mayoral candidate for Dhaka South City Corporation Ishraque Hossain said the EVM is an unfriendly voting process for the mass people.
He made the comment after casting the very first vote of his life at Shahid Shahjahan Govt Primary School in Gopibag.
"The EVM process can manipulate the elections," he alleged.
Asked about why his polling agent is absent, Ishraque said he will look into the matter as soon as possible.
Elections fair, voting peaceful: Sheikh Taposh
Awami League-backed mayoral candidate for Dhaka South City Corporation Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh cast his vote at Dhanmondi Govt Girls School in Dhaka.
The former lawmaker is running for the mayoral election for the first time.
After casting his vote, Taposh told reporters that the polls are taking place in a fair and peaceful manner.