Dhaka, Dec 29: This is the milestone Parliamentary election in Bangladesh. Thousands of Bangladeshis formed beeline along polling stations to vote amid unprecedented security on Monday, Dec 29.
Strict vigilance was kept through army troops and other paramilitary forces. The voting started at 8.00 am and will continue until four in the afternoon in 35,263 polling stations across the country. The Election Commission officials said they expected the unofficial results to be announced early by Tuesday, Dec 30.
The major contenders to form the next govt are former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's Awami League-led Grand Alliance and her arch rival Khaleda Zia's BNP-led four party coalition.
Over 8.10 crore voters were enrolled in the country's first ever digital electoral roll with photograph as the election to the 300-seat Parliament. It comes after seven years of gap at the end of two years of the state of emergency under an interim government, crucially backed by the army.
No major pre-poll violence was reported as electioneering ended on Friday midnight. But officials and reports said a number of people were arrested as rival candidates at several places tried to distribute money in city slums and in remote villages in their bid to "buy votes".
A total of 1,552 candidates are contesting the polls and more than 81 million people, 33 per cent of them first-time voters are eligible to cast their ballots.
OneIndia News (With inputs from Agencies)