Sylhet, Dec 12 (UNB) – Jatiya Oikyafront, a major opposition alliance led by Dr Kamal Hossain, formally flagged off its election campaign here on Wednesday through offering fateha at the shrine of Hazrat Shahjalal (R).
Dr Kamal together with Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JDS-Rob) president ASM Abdur Rob, Krishak Sramik Janata League president Abdul Quader Siddiqui, BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan and other senior leaders of the Oikyafront visited the shrine around 4:45 pm and offered fateha there.
Later, they offered fateha and at the shrine of Shah Paran ® and conducted electioneering in the city in favour of ‘Sheaf of Paddy’.
Talking to reporters after offering fateha at the shrine of Hazrat Shahjalal (R), Dr Kamal said the country’s people will not get back their ownership of the country if the election is not held in a credible manner.
“Independence becomes meaningless if people lose their ownership of the country. Ensuring fair election is one of the goals of the independence,“ he observed.
Dr Kamal criticised the government for what he said continued arrest of the leaders and activists of Oikyafront. “It’s not a sign of a fair election at all.”
He, however, said they will be there in the election race till the last and force the government to hold a fair election together with people.
The Oikyafront chief urged people to go to the polling stations to cast their votes on December 30. “You’ll have to guard voting centres to prevent irregularities and manipulation.”
Several thousand leaders and activists of BNP and its alliance partners thronged the shrine of Hazrat Shahjalal (R) and its adjoining areas by 1pm.
However, Dr Kamal and the Oikyafront leaders arrived at Sylhet Osmani International Airport around 4:10 pm from Dhaka.
Meanwhile, police did not allow the Oikyafront leaders to use loudspeakers on the shrine premise as the alliance leaders did not take prior permission to do that.
The law enforcers also seized the chairs and tables brought by the alliance leaders to the shrine premises on the same ground.
Noakhali, Dec 12 (UNB) – Police arrested six BNP men from different areas of Sadar and Suborno Char upazilas on Wednesday in connection with the murder of a Jubo League leader in a pre-election clash.
The arrestees are—president of Suborno Char upazila Jubo Dal unit NizamUddin Faruk, organizing secretary Ibrahim Khalil, Mohammad Ali, president of 9 no ward Jubo Dal in Eojbalia union, union BNP president Shahjahan Kamal and his two brothers Nasir Uddin, MohiUddin and BNP activist Nuruzzaman.
Md Anwar Hossain, officer-in-charge of Sudharam Model Police Station, said that police conducted drives in different areas of the upazila at noon and arrested them.
Mohammad Hanif, general secretary of ward-8 unit of Jubo League in Eojbalia union, was killed in a pre-election fight between the supporters of Awami League and BNP over electioneering at Eojbalia in Sadar upazila on Tuesday.
Dhaka, Dec 12 (UNB) - The Election Commission will sit in a meeting on Thursday with law enforcement agencies and armed forces to finalise security measures for the 11th parliamentary elections slated for December 30.
Top representatives from police, Rapid Action Battalion, Border Guard Bangladesh, Ansar and VDP, intelligences agencies and the Armed Forces Division as well as the 66 returning officers and the superintendents of police (SPs) of all the districts will join the meeting to be held at 10 am at Nirbachan Bhaban.
Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda will chair the meeting. Other election commissioners and EC's top officials will be present.
At the meeting, the EC will finalise the security strategy, particularly for 4-5 days, during the parliamentary elections and fix the number of security men to be deployed at each polling station.
EC officials said around 7 lakh members of law enforcement agencies, including Ansar men, will be engaged in the election duty throughout the country.
The armed forces will be there as the striking force for some specific days ahead of the election.
Alongside law enforcers, a large number of judicial magistrates and executive magistrates will conduct drives against the polls violence and violation of the electoral code of conduct.
Dhaka, Dec 12 (UNB) – The overhauling of the existing system and ensuring freedom of speech and “functional democracy” top the promises made by Left Democratic Alliance’s (LDA) manifesto unveiled on Wednesday.
Its convener Mohammad Shah Alam, also general secretary of Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), announced the election pledges at a press briefing around 11:30am at Mukti Bhaban in city’s Purana Paltan area.
The 32-point manifesto vowed to overhaul the prime minister-centric system, amend the constitution and state system in the spirit of the Liberation War, among others. Ensuring free speech and establishing human rights and functional democracy are also on LDA’s agenda.
The alliance promised to introduce ‘No Vote’, employment assurance scheme, cutting the rich-poor discrimination, establishing women’s rights, and zero tolerance to corruption.
Preventing discrimination against the religious minorities, proper recognition of various communities, ethnic minorities and dalits were also included in the manifesto.
The LDA also promised to improve education, health and medical sectors.
In the manifesto, the alliance said looting and repression were the main goals of all the bourgeois parties in Bangladesh. “This is why the policy of repression has remained the same although the rulers have changed,” it said.
Speakers at the press briefing also urged people to vote for LDA.
CPB President Mujahidul Islam Selim, Ganosamhati Andolon central leader Firoz Ahmed, Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal (BaSad) leader Bajlur Rashid Firoj, Biplobi Workers Party General Secretary Saiful Huq, United Communist League General Secretary Mosharraf Hossain Nannu, and Ganatantrik Biplobi Party General Secretary Mushrefa Mishu were, among others, present at the briefing.
Dhaka, Dec 12 (UNB) – The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed a High Court order that had overturned an Election Commission’s decision barring BNP leaders Iqbal Hasan Mahmud Tuku and Ruhul QuddusTalukder Dulu from contesting the 11th parliamentary elections.
The seven-member full Appellate Division bench, led by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, passed the order after hearing a petition filed by the EC.
Advocate Fida M Kamal and Advocate Ajmalul Hossain QC stood for Tuku and Dulu while Attorney General Mahbubey Alam represented the Election Commission.
On Tuesday, chamber judge of the Appellate Division Justice Hasan Foez Siddique stayed the HC order and sent the petition to the full bench fixing Wednesday for hearing.
On Tuesday, the Election Commission filed the petition with the Supreme Court challenging the High Court order.
The High Court on Monday stayed the EC's decision declaring the BNP leaders invalid for the election.
Earlier, the EC rejected the appeals of BNP leader Iqbal Hasan Mahmud Tuku from Sirajganj-2 and Ruhul Kuddus Talukdar Dulu from Natore-2 after they challenged the decisions of respective returning officers turning down their nomination.
Later, they moved the High Court seeking redress.