The first phase of country’s fourth Upazila Parishad election was held in 97 upazilas under 40 districts on Wednesday amid sporadic violence in some of the polling areas and allegations of irregularities and vote rigging by the BNP-led alliance. Election will be held to another upazila on Monday next in the same phase. In results of the elections in some upazilas, the BNP-led alliance won majority while the ruling Awami League also bagged some chairman posts. BNP-led alliance backed candidates were unofficially elected chairmen in Madhobpur in Habiganj, Jointapur in Sylhet, Hathajari in Chittagong, Vedorganj in Shariatpur, Atghoria in Pabna and Nandigram in Bogra while Awami League-backed candidates won in Bajitpur in Kisherganj, Daksin Sunamganj and Damudya in Shariatpur. BNP leader SM Shahjahan was elected unofficially bagging about 70,000 votes. His nearest rival AL-backed candidate Jakir Hossain Osim got about 17,000 votes in the Madhobpur upazila. UNO of Madhodpur Sharmin Jahan said that the full panel of BNP-led alliance won the polls here. BNP backed candidate Mahbub Hossain won the polls in Hathajari upazila defeating AL-backed candidate. BNP leader Tojammedl Haque Toja was unofficially elected chairman of Doulatpur upazila in Manikganj. His nearest rival — of Awami League. BNP-backed candidate Hajee Abdul Hekim was elected chairman of Goainghat upazila in Sylhet while Anwar Hossain of BNP won in Vedorganj in Shariatpur, BNP’s rebel candidate AKM Touhidul Islam was unofficially elected chairman in Dhonut upazila in Bogra defeating BNP-backed candidate Md Shajahan Ali. Jamaat leader Joynal Abedin was unofficially elected chairman of Jointapur upazila. His nearest rival Md Kamal Uddin of Awami League. Jamaat-backed candidate Sirajul Islam was also unofficially elected chairman at Atghoria upazila in Pabna. AL-backed candidate Sarwar Alam was unofficially elected chairman of Bajitpur upazila of Kisherganj defeating BNP-backed candidate Kaiyum Khan Helal. Sarwar got 51, 460 votes while Helal got 42, 394. AL-backed candidate Hajee Abul Bashar won in polls in the Daksin Sunamganj upazila. Alamgir Hossain of Awami League won the polls in Damuday of Shariatpur. Independent candidate Anisur Rahman was unofficially elected chairman in Taraganj upazila in Rangpur. Defeated candidates in a number upazilas rejected results. BNP called hartal in eight upazilas while BNP-backed candidates and its rebel candidates boycotted elections in at least seven upazilas. The voting started at 8:00 am and ended at 4:00pm without any break. Wednesday was declared as a public holiday by the government in the polling areas. Alongside regular security forcers, the army has been deployed in the upazilas to maintain law and order. According to the EC Secretariat, a total of 1,274 candidates were in the race of the first-phase voting in the 98 upazilas. Of them, 432 are vying for the post of chairman while 513 for the post of vice-chairman and 329 for woman vice-chairman post. Altogether 1,732 people had filed their nomination papers. Some of them could not stand scrutiny, while 405 withdrew from the race. Among them, 234 withdrew from chairman, 126 from vice-chairman and 45 from women’s reserved vice-chairman posts. The EC has declared three candidates unopposed as vice-chairman. In Kazipur upazila of Sirajganj, the Vice-Chairman has been elected uncontested. Similarly, candidates for women Vice-Chairman at Jazira of Sariatpur and Dupchanchia of Bogra have been declared elected unopposed. On January 19, the EC announced the schedule for the first phase elections in 102 upazilas in 40 districts, later it postponed polls to four upazilas in Rangpur district tdue to complications over demarcation of boundaries. The upazilas are Gangachhara, Kawnia, Peergachha and Rangpur sadar. There are 487 upazila parishads across the country. Of those, the EC is going to arrange election to nearly 480 upazila parishads before June. Elections to 117 upazilas will be held on February 27 in the second phase while 83 upazilas on March 15 in the third phase and 92 upazilas on March 23 in the fourth phase. The EC expressed satisfaction over the voting situation. Sirajul Islam, acting secretary to the EC, said that the election continued peacefully and with spontaneous participation of voters despite some stray incidents, he said.