Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The maiden voting for the Comilla City Corporation election started Thursday morning with enthusiastic participation of voters.

People were seen queuing up in front of polling centres much before 8:00am (local time), the time voting started, according to reports.

This is for the first time in Bangladesh that all voters in an election are using the electronic voting machine (EVM) in its all 65 centers.

Sammilito Nagorik Committee-backed mayoral candidate Monirul Hoque Sakku cast his vote at Hocchamia High School poll centre around 9:30am and left the centre showing a V-sign.

On the other hand, Awami League-backed mayoral candidate Afzal Khan exercised his franchise at Comilla Modern High School around 9:45am and left the centre showing a V-sign.

A total of 169,279 voters, including 86,078 women, will cast their votes in 421 polling booths of 65 polling centers in 27 general wards in the 53.04-sqkm city corporation to elect a mayor and 27 ward councilors.

Besides the 27 general ward councillors, voters will cast their votes to elect female ward councillors from among 69 candidates vying from the seats set aside for women.

Unprecedented security measures were taken with deployment of over 3,000 lawmen and they were seen patrolling in and around the city to ensure law and order during the polling time. They will be on election duty till Friday.

Election officials earlier said 1,200 Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) personnel, more than 2,000 police members, 150 members of Bangladesh Border Guard and Armed Police Battalion, 27 executive magistrates and nine judicial magistrates will work throughout the day to ensure free and fair voting.

BBN/SSR/AD-05Jan12-11:23 am (BST)