Narayanganj, Feb 2 (UNB) – Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader on Saturday said BNP’s efforts to make the December-30 election questionable by sending letters to different countries have failed.
“BNP is lonely trying to make the election questionable. They’ve written letters to different countries to brand the election as illegal and questionable one. But, such evil efforts have gone in vain,” he said.
The ruling party leader further said, “BNP is such a party which has completely failed in movement. Now there’s no atmosphere in the country to wage a movement. People also won’t respond to BNP’s call for taking to the streets.”
He came up with the remarks while talking to reporters after visiting the construction work on the second Kanchpur Bridge here.
Quader, also the Road Transport and Bridges Minister, said BNP has lost the confidence of foreign friends and the country’s people by hatching a conspiracy against the country.
He criticised BNP for its decision to boycott the upcoming upazila polls, saying a political party loses its normal existence if it does not join elections.
The Awami League general secretary hoped that their party will not face any trouble with rebel candidates in the upazila polls like the national election.
The minister said the construction work on the second Kanchpur Bridge has almost completed and the Prime Minister will inaugurate it anytime next month.
Besides, he said, around 85 percent construction work on the two other new bridges --Meghna and Meghna-Gumti – has been completed and those will be opened by June or July next easing the sufferings of commuters on Dhaka-Chittagong Highway.
Dhaka, Feb 2 (UNB) – BNP on Saturday alleged that the 11th parliament lacks legitimacy as its MPs were not elected with people’s votes.
“The current parliament doesn’t have the moral legitimacy to go into session since they (MPs) are not elected. It’s a farce and cruel mockery with the nation in the name of an election,” said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
Speaking at a seminar on women repression, the BNP leader also alleged that the current parliament will not discuss the issue of repression against women as people belonging to ruling party are indulging in such acts.
“Awami League pushed the country towards destruction with its efforts to cling to power by any means. They consciously used all the state institutions to return to power through the election, destroying the democratic characteristics of the country. Nothing can be more dangerous than this,” Fakhrul added.
A newly-launched women body, ‘Awaj’, arranged the seminar titled ‘Violence and Women: Present Perspective’ at the Jatiya Press Club. Dr Shahida Rafique, a professor of Dhaka University, presented the keynote paper at the programme.
In her paper, she presented different statistics about violence against women in the recent years, and suggested forming a separate ministry alongside strict enforcement of law to stop it.
Fakhrul lamented that the ‘so-called intellectuals at television talk-shows are used to find and discuss the mistakes of BNP and Oikyafront, but they do not dare say anything against Awami League’s ‘destructive’ acts.
He alleged that Awami League has succeeded in spreading panic among people to protect the ‘fascism it established in the country’. “People now don’t want to raise their voice against the government out of fear.”
Referring to a headline of The Economist “Obituary of a democracy: Bangladesh”, the BNP leader said all the global media now know democracy has been ‘destroyed’ here.
About repression on women, he said the problem is growing due to a change in the characteristics of the state and society. “This problem can’t be removed until we can restore democracy and people’s rights.”
Stating different recent incidents of violence against women at different parts of the country, including in Noakhali, Narayanganj and Khulna, Fakhrul said he urged common people to come forward to raise their voice and ensure justice.
He claimed that their party’s around 27 lakh people have been implicated in around 98,000 cases.
The BNP leader urged his party colleagues to be vocal and active for the restoration of democracy, and removing injustice. “We should not die before our death. Don’t get panicked people of the country are with you. ”
Dhaka, Feb 2 (UNB) – The Election Commission on Saturday rejected the nomination paper of Jatiya Party mayoral aspirant Shafin Ahmed and accepted that of five others, including Atiqul Islam of Awami League, for the by-polls to Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC).
However, the nomination papers of five other mayoral aspirants were declared valid by the EC.
The by-elections to the vacant DNCC mayoral post and Kishoreganj-1 constituency will be held on February 28.
The valid four other candidates are National People’s Party’s (PPP’s) Anisur Rahman Dewan, Nationalist Democratic Movement’s (NDM’s) Bobby Hazzaz, Progressive Democratic Party’s (PDP’s) Shahin Khan and Abdur Rahim.
During the scrutiny, DNCC by-polls returning officer Md Abul Kashem cancelled Shafin’s nomination paper for loan default.
Jatiya Party on Wednesday picked popular singer Shafin Ahmed to contest the by-election to the DNCC mayoral post with its ticket.
Besides, election to councillor posts of 36 new wards--18 in DNCC and 18 in Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC)--will be held on the same day.
In the DNCC, a total of 167 general councillor aspirants submitted nomination papers against 18 posts, while 46 women councillor aspirants filed nomination papers against six posts in the new wards.
But the EC cancelled nomination papers of seven general councillor aspirants and one hopeful for reserved seat.
In the DSCC, a total of 158 general councillor aspirants submitted nomination papers against 18 posts, while 25 women councillor aspirants submitted nomination papers against six reserved seats.
The EC turned down nomination papers of eight general councillor aspirants. However, no one from nomination papers of the woman councillor aspirants was cancelled.
On Jan 22, the EC announced the polls schedules following the High Court’s order that cleared the way to hold elections to the DNCC mayoral post and the councillor posts in the 36 new wards of DNCC and DSCC.
In January 2018, the Election Commission had announced a schedule for by-elections to the DNCC mayoral post as well as 36 general councillor posts and 12 reserved councillor posts for the 36 new wards being added to the capital’s two city corporations –equally divided between the north and south.
Within days of the announcement, the High Court stayed the by-elections following writ petitions filed with the court. The court’s order came a day before the deadline for the submission of nomination papers.
The size of the DNCC electorate is just over 2.9 million, spread across its 54 wards.
Dhaka, Feb 1 (UNB) – Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader on Friday said BNP’s decision not to join the Ganobhaban tea party at the invitation of the Prime Ministers has exposed the party’s old negative political attitude.
Speaking at a press conference at Awami League president’s Dhanmondi office, he said the leaders of Jatiya Oikyafront can openly discuss various political issues joining the programme at Ganobhaban on Saturday.
“Many things can be discussed while taking tea as politicians used to talk about politics. So, BNP’s representatives can talk to the Prime Minister at the tea party. They can openly tell her if they have anything to say,” Quader said.
He further said, “But, BNP’s decision not to respond to the Prime Minister’s invitation has manifested the party’s continuation of old negative political attitude. It’s not good for democracy and BNP’s existence. BNP is now on the edge of a ditch and they’ll fall into it anytime.”
On Thursday, the Oikyafront steering committee decided not to join the tea party at Ganobhaban, terming it a “mockery”.
Oikyafront spokesman and BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir briefed reporters about the meeting decision.
On Friday, Oikyafront sent a letter to Ganobhaban explaining the reason behind its decision not to join the tea party.
Quader, also the Road Transport and Bridges Minister, said BNP and Oikyafront MPs-elect should join the parliament to play a strong role both in parliament and its outside.
He also warned BNP that it will be isolated from the friendly countries if it does not join parliament.
Turning down BNP and Oikyafront’s demand for reelection, Quader said they will have to wait until the 12th preliminary election for it.
Dhaka, Feb 1 (UNB) – Hailing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for inviting its leaders to her tea party, Jatiya Oikyafront on Friday sent a letter to Ganobhaban explaining the reason behind its decision not to join it on Saturday.
A three-member delegation of the alliance went to Ganobhaban carrying the letter in the morning, Oikyafront’s office chief Jahangir Alam Mintu told UNB.
He said the Prime Minister’s protocol officer-2 Khorshed Alam received the letter which was signed by Oikyafront steering committee member Subrata Chowdhury.
“We thank you for inviting us to exchange greetings over tea at Ganobhaban on February 2. The issue of the honourable Prime Minister’s tea party was discussed as one of the agenda at today’s (Thursday’s) meeting of the Jatiya Oikyafront steering committee,” the letter reads.
It also says the steering committee unanimously decided not to take part in the tea party.
“The government formed through a farce in the name of an election on December 30 is in no way a moral one. People’s minimum democratic rights and their authority to elect representatives through exercising their voting rights were snatched on that day,” the letter says.
Besides, it says, Oikyafront’s several thousand leaders and activists have been in jail while many leaders and activists of the alliance are still being arrested in new cases.
“Under the circumstances, it’s not possible in any way to join the Prime Minister’s tea party,” the letter adds.
On January 26, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina invited Jatiya Oikyafront senior leaders to exchange greetings at Ganobhaban over tea on February 2.
Jatiya Oikyafront top leaders, led by Dr Kamal Hossain, sat twice with the Prime Minister on November 1 and November 7 last at Ganobhaban before the 11th parliamentary elections.
Oikyafront was formed on November 13 comprising BNP, Gono Forum, JSD (ROB) and Nagorik Oikya. Later, Abdul Kader Siddique-led Krishak Sramik Janata League also joined the alliance.
Awami League, led by Sheikh Hasina, formed the government for the third consecutive term following its landslide victory in the December-30 election.
Turning down the election results bringing the allegation of ‘massive vote robbery’, Oikyafront demanded reelection.