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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gestures after casting her vote in the morning during the general election in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Dec. 30, 2018. VOA

Election officials in Bangladesh said Monday an alliance led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina won a huge majority, clearing the way for her to serve a third straight term while opponents rejected the result.

The Awami League-led group won at least 288 of 300 seats.


An opposition alliance led by Kamal Hossain won at least six seats, according to the Election Commission.

Hossain called Sunday’s election “farcical” and said the outcome will be rejected. Hossain also called for a new election held under a neutral authority.

Opponents have criticized reports of voter intimidation and “irregularities” in the election.


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hand with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina, VOA

Violence between the ruling and opposition parties which marred the election campaigns carried on into election day, despite heavy security throughout the country, including 600,000 troops and other security forces deployed across the country.

Thirteen people were killed in clashes between opposing party supporters, and three men were shot by police who said they were protecting polling stations, according to police. An auxiliary police member was also killed by armed opposition activists, according to the French Press Agency.

Voter turnout in the country of 165 million people was low in the first fully competitive general election in a decade.

“I believe the people of Bangladesh will vote for the boat (Awami League symbol) and will give us another opportunity to serve them so that we can maintain our upward trend of development, and take Bangladesh forward as a developing country,” Hasina said Sunday.

Hasina’s main rival, former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, the leader of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, is in prison on corruption charges and a court has banned her from running.


Salahuddin Ahmed, a Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) candidate for general election, is seen bleeding as he was stabbed on a election day in Dhaka, Dec. 30, 2018. VOA

In Zia’s absence, opposition parties have formed a coalition led by Hossain, an 82-year-old Oxford-educated lawyer and former member of Hasina’s Awami League party.

“I told everybody over the phone that, besides sending me the complaints, let the returning officers, and their superiors and newspapers know about everything that you all are witnessing. Besides talking to you, we are going to collect the complaints and share them with both the government and election commission,” Hossain said.

Also Read: Russia Declines Allegation Reports Alleging Its Meddling in The U.S. Elections

Mobile internet was blocked and the streets of the capital, Dhaka were largely deserted as many had left to vote in their home towns.

Others were seen trickling into polling booths, where posters bearing the ruling Awami League’s “boat” symbol far outnumbered those of the opposition. (VOA)


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Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Killer Smog in Delhi.

Developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, a Decision Support System (DSS) that extends the ability of the existing air quality early warning system (AQEWS) to have decision-making capability for air quality management in Delhi-NCR was launched on Tuesday.

The website for the DSS (https://ews.tropmet.res.in/dss/) is designed to help the Commission for Air Quality Management for NCR and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) by delivering quantitative information about the contribution of emissions from Delhi and its 19 surrounding districts; the contribution of emissions from eight different sectors in Delhi; and the contribution from biomass-burning activities in the neighbouring states.

These information would assist in managing the air quality in a timely manner, a release from the Ministry of Earth Sciences said.

The need was stated by the CAQM, which was formed by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, during a meeting held in January 2021.

Recently, the Commission reviewed the progress made by IITM and had in principle approved the current version of DSS for air quality management in the Delhi-NCR. The IITM has also developed a new website for DSS with the entire system made operational, the release said.

Union Minister of State for Earth Sciences, Jitendra Singh, while launching the website for AQEWS on the occasion of 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' week organised by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, said, "DSS is a significant contribution to 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' on behalf of MoES and IITM and suggestions are invited on this issue."

The website also has a feature whereby the users can create their own emission reduction scenarios (from 20 different districts, including Delhi) so as to examine the possible projected improvement in air quality in Delhi for the next five days.

"This information would explicitly highlight the most important emission sources responsible for the degradation of air quality in Delhi and suggest possible solutions to ameliorate the same. With a plethora of quantitative data, the AQEWS integrated with DSS could become a user-friendly tool for air-quality management in and around Delhi," the release said. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Delhi, India, Pollution, IITM, Ministry of Earth Sciences