Dhaka, Nov 20 (UNB) – BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Tuesday announced that their party leaders and activists will put up their last-ditch resistance on December 30 to overcome the hurdles they have been facing over the last 10 years.
“We’re going through a very tough time, but we must overcome it. We’re facing obstacles everywhere and being subjected to repression and persecution. We’ve been trying to get rid of it over the last 10 years. Now, we’ll put up our last-ditch resistance on December 30,” he said.
Speaking at a discussion, the BNP leader further said, “We’ll struggle on that day, even with our last drop of blood. A flag of independent people will be hoisted after December 30.”
BNP arranged the programme at Supreme Court Bar Association auditorium, marking party acting chairman Tarique Rahman’s 54th birthday.
Fakhrul urged BNP leaders and activists to get ready to put up a strong resistance together with people to force the government hold a fair election. “There’s no alternative to creating a resistance like a wall as it’s a struggle of our existence and life and death.”
Stating that their party has taken part in the election as part of their movement, he urged their party leaders and activists to come out of hideouts and visits every house braving the fear of arrest to mobilise people to stand against the government’s misrule.
The BNP leader also asked their party men to create a revolution on December 30 to remove the current regime through winning the battle of ballot.
He called upon BNP leaders and activists to take all-out preparations to take part in a battle of vote on the election day. “We’ll go to the polling stations together with people. No force can obstruct us if we go to the voting centres along with people.”
The BNP leader criticised the government for what he said blocking Skype and mobile internet at their Chairperson’s Gulshan office, saying it has only exposed the regimes’ bankruptcy.
Fakhrul also greeted Tarique on his birthday and wished him a long-life.
Dhaka, Nov 20 (UNB) – BNP on Tuesday voiced doubt whether the Election Commission (EC) wants to hold a credible and neutral election since police continued arresting their leaders and activists and filing cases against them.
“We’re in doubt whether the Election Commission is willing to hold a free, fair and neutral election. Police have been arresting opposition leaders and activists and harassing them even after the announcement of the election schedule,” said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
Talking to reporters at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office, he also said their party’s arrested leaders and activists are not been released on bail and the hearing on their bail petitions is being delayed as the EC is playing a silent role in this regard.
The BNP leader warned that the election will not be acceptable to people if the EC fails to ensure a level-playing field and stop the arrest of opposition leaders and activists.
Stating that police’s role came under serious question during city corporation elections, Fakhrul said they have got information that the government is working out a ‘blueprint’ to hold a stage-managed election using police.
The BNP leader said a police officer is also making plans sitting at the Police Headquarters to bring the election results in ruling party’s favour by manipulating and rigging votes.
He also came down hard on the Election Commission for not taking any step to recover both illegal and legal arms after the announcement of the election schedule. “It seems the Commission itself has taken a position that it won’t hold a fair election.”
The BNP leader said the EC is not playing any role in creating a level-playing field. “We hope good senses will prevail upon the Election Commission to properly discharge their constitutional duty by using their authority.”
Asked when they will finalise the candidates of BNP and their alliance partners, he said they will do it very soon.
Fakhrul said they took interviews of 279 nomination seekers from different districts under Chattogram division from 10am to 2:30pm.
They later started interviewing the aspirants of Sylhet and Cumilla divisions around 3:30pm.
Party acting chairman Tarique Rahman joined the party nomination board on Tuesday as well availing of the internet service.
Talking to reporters after facing the interview, BNP ex-assistant office secretary Abdul Latif Jony, who wants to get party ticket to contest the election from Feni-3 seat, on Tuesday morning said Tarique is taking interview through videoconferencing using another app as the Skype was blocked.
Dhaka, Nov 20 (UNB) – BNP on Tuesday demanded immediate cancellation of the appointment of former and current secretary-level officials as mentors of the deputy commissioners in 45 districts for implementing different projects.
BNP sent a letter in this regard to Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda for the sake of ensuring a level-playing field in the next national election slated for December 30.
A BNP delegation, led by joint secretary general Moazzem Hossain Alal, handed over the letter signed by BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir to EC Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed at Nirbachan Bhaban at noon.
Talking to reporters at the Nirbachan Bhaban, Alal said the Cabinet Division on November 8 issued a notification nominating 45 former and in-service secretary-level officials as mentors of the DCs in 45 districts to provide advice for implementation of the Vision 2021, the priority projects taken by the Prime Minister and the projects assured by the Prime Minister.
He said the mentors were appointed on the day when the election schedule was announced. “It’ll hamper the level-playing field. The implementation of the projects will destroy the even ground for all,” Alal said.
The letter reads, “We firmly believe that the appointment of mentors will obviously influence the parliamentary elections and create scope for undue influence over the returning officers.”
Now the Deputy Commissioners of all the 64 districts are the returning officers in the national election.
BNP sent a total of five letters to the Chief Election Commissioner on Tuesday.
Four letters sought a level-playing field for all in the election, while another was submitted demanding punitive actions against four government officials, including the EC secretary and the DMP commissioner, over the Nayapaltan violence occurred on November 14.
In one of the letters, BNP lodged a complaint that a drone was seen flying over BNP’s Nayapaltan office on November 15 which created fear among the BNP leaders and activists during the collection and submission of nomination forms by BNP aspirants.
BNP asked the CEC to take measures to stop such activities.
In another letter, BNP alleged that the returning officers were briefed at the Prime Minister’s Office on November 13 after the CEC briefed them on the same day.
BNP said holding of the meeting with the returning officers at the PMO without EC’s permission after the announcement of the election schedule is clear violation of the Article 73 (2B) (VI) of the Representation of the People Order 1972. “It’s a corrupt practice, which is a punishable offence,” the letter says.
The party demanded legal actions against the responsible officials in this regard following an investigation.
In a separate letter, BNP demanded withdrawal of all divisional commissioners, deputy inspectors general of police (DIGs) and metropolitan police commissioners across the country for the sake of a free, fair and neutral election.
Dhaka, Nov 20 (UNB) – Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Tuesday said India wants a free, fair, credible and inclusive election in Bangladesh.
He made the remarks while talking to reporters after a meeting with Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Harsh Vardhan Shringla at the Secretariat.
Quader, also Road Transport and Bridges Minister, said at the meeting, they discussed the ongoing projects taken under the Indian Line of Credit and the procurement of buses and trucks from India.
Asked whether India wants the continuation of the current government, he said, “If the country’s people don’t vote for us, how India will ensure our party’s victory. We won’t sit idle thinking that India wants us as no foreign country has any scope to interfere in the election. I don’t think India has ever interfered in our internal issues.”
The ruling party leader also MPs Abdur Rahman Bodi and Amanur Rahman Khan Rana will not be given party nomination for contesting the upcoming parliamentary elections. “The party has decided to give the nomination to Bodi’s wife for Cox's Bazar-4 (Ukhia-Teknaf) constituency while Rana’s father Ataur Rahman for Tangail-3 (Ghatail) parliamentary seat,” he said.
About finalising the party nomination, Quader said it has already been finalised and now discussion is going on with the alliance partners.
He said the list of the party candidates will be published by November 24-25.
Referring to the EC secretary’s comment about BNP acting Chairman Tarique Rahman’s participation in taking interview of their party candidates through videoconferencing, the AL general secretary said, “The EC can do it as per the RPO but we seek justice to people as to how a fugitive convict can take part in the election process and we’ll go to the court, if needed.”
On Monday, Election Commission Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed said the Commission has nothing to do with BNP acting Chairman Tarique Rahman’s participation in taking interview of their party candidates through videoconferencing.
Joining the nomination board through Skype is a cybercrime and the government is looking into the matter, Quader said.
Asked what they will do if Jatiya Party does not join the ruling party-led alliance, he said they have taken preparations considering all aspects.
Dhaka, Nov 20 (UNB) – Though BNP on Monday night alleged that there was no internet access in and around their chairperson Khaleda Zia’s Gulshan political office, its acting chairman Tarique Rahman joined the party nomination board on Tuesday availing of the internet service.
However, BNP party senior leaders declined to make any comment as to how Tarique is taking interview of their nomination seekers if there no internet connection at Khaleda’s office.
Speaking at a press conference at the party’s Nayapaltan central office on Monday night, party senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi claimed that all the internet-based services have been shut down in their party chairperson’s Gulshan office so that their party acting chairman cannot talk to their party’s nomination seekers through Skype.
Talking to reporters after facing the interview, BNP ex-assistant office secretary Abdul Latif Jony, who wants to get party ticket to contest the election from Feni-3 seat, on Tuesday morning said Tarique is taking interview through videoconferencing using another app.
BNP publicity affairs secretary Shaheed Uddin Chowdhury Anne also said Tarique talked to them through suing a telecommunication application.
The party nomination board, comprising BNP standing committee members, resumed the interview with those who bought party nomination forms for Chattogram division at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office at 10 am on Tuesday.
A BNP senior leader, wishing anonymity, told UNB that their party is using Virtual Private Network (VPN) in their chairperson’s Gulshan office to operate another video calling app.
According to ICT experts, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) provides a secure, encrypted tunnel to transmit the data between a remote user and any company network.
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) reportedly blocked telecommunication application Skype across the country on Monday evening.
Emdadul Haque, secretary general of Internet Service Providers Association of Bangladesh (ISPAB), told UNB that they received a letter from the BTRC asking them to keep all kinds of communication from home and abroad via Skype suspended.
However, acting BTRC chairman Jahurul Haque said there was no instruction from the telecom regulator about blocking Skype.