Professor Dr Pran Gopal Datta, the former vice-chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), has been declared the winner for the by-polls of Cumilla-7 constituency.
He has been declared elected unopposed as the ruling Awami League candidate. Regional Election Officer Md Dulal Talukder, who is also the returning officer of Cumilla-7 by-polls, declared Dr. Pran Gopal Datta elected unopposed through issuing a notification on Monday morning.
“We have issued a public notice on the matter. The candidate was present at the time. Dr Pran Gopal has been declared the winner as two out of the three candidates withdrew their nominations formally and one of his opponent’s nominations was rejected,” said Md Dulal Talukder.
Dr Pran Gopal Datta was the only person who remains in the race of membership in parliament after NAP nominee Monirul Islam withdrew his candidature on Saturday. The election result was confirmed after the deadline for withdrawal of candidature ended at 5:00 pm on Sunday. However, Dr Pran Gopal Datta was formally announced the winner of the by-polls around 11:00 am on Monday.
The Cumilla-7 constituency consists of Chandana Upazila and the seat fell vacant on July 30 after Ali Ashraf, then MP of the constituency died at a hospital in Dhaka. He had been elected to parliament five times from the constituency.
The by-poll was scheduled to be held on October 7.
According to the returning officer, six candidates bought applications for the Cumilla-7 race. Two of them did not submit the completed application. Of the four who did, Jatiya Party candidate Lutfur Reza Khokon, who is also the central vice chairman and party convener of Cumilla District (north), withdrew his nomination on September 16. NAP candidate Monirul Islam later withdrew his nomination on September 18. The application of independent candidate Saleh Siddiqi was rejected on September 14 during the Election Commission’s scrutiny. As a result, Dr. Pran Gopal Dutta was the only candidate left for the Cumilla-7 by-election.
According to regulations, the returning officer sent a report on the matter to the Election Commission on Sunday evening. Then, on Monday, the public notice was issued.
Dr Pran Gopal Datta is an ear, nose, and throat specialist. He has received the Independence Award for his contributions to medical service. He was also the personal physician of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.