Former enclave residents under the district’s two constituencies exercised their franchise for the first time in 71 years.
They were elated to have been able to cast votes under Panchagarh-1 and Panchagarh-2 constituencies in Sunday’s national election.
Many of them took their whole families to the polling stations. Voting in the national election was one of the biggest dreams come true, some of them said. Their only wish is the continuation of the ex-enclaves’ development under the new government.
The new voters and their families went to the polling centres early in the morning and waited eagerly for their turn.
Former Putimari enclave residents under Moydandighi union of Boda Upazila, came to vote at Dhonipara Girls’ High School centre.
“I never voted in my life,” said 65-year-old Shahidul Islam. “Today, I learnt how to cast vote.”
Taslim Uddin, another Putimari resident, said he had gone to the polling centre with his family. “I am really happy that I could cast my vote.”
Mokarram Hossain, presiding officer of Dhonipara Girls’ High School polling centre, said the turnout of ex-enclave voters was good. “They exercised their franchise in a festive mood,” he said.
District election officer Asraful Alam said Panchagarh-1 had 1,025 voters who were residents of seven former enclaves in Hafizabad and Haribhasha unions in the Sadar Upazila.
In Panchagarh-2, the number of 29 former enclave dweller voters was 7,910.