Dhaka, Dec 29 (UNB) – Claiming that the country’s 99 percent people want a ‘change’, Jatiya Oikyafront chief Dr Kamal Hossain on Saturday said they will vote for the coalition candidates in Sunday’s election to bring that change.
“Ninety-nine percent people are dissatisfied with the government for indulging in corruption and creating a reign of terror. Only 1 percent people might not want the change as they’re very privileged personas,” he said while briefing foreign journalists at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity about the prevailing situation across the country on the eve of the election.
Dr Kamal said, “People have got united against the government for its misrule, corruption and terrorism as they did against the Pakistan occupation forces in 1971.”
He briefly described ‘attacks’ carried out on BNP and Oikyafront candidates and their supporters and arrest by police across the country to keep them away from the election.
The Oikyafront chief claimed that reports were coming from across the country that the government has prepared ballot boxes stuffed with fake ballots to win the election.
Responding to a query, he said Oikyafront will urge the Election Commission to apply different options of the Constitution, including cancellation of the election and holding fresh voting, if the results fail to fulfill people’s expectations.
Other Oikyafront leaders, including BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan, Gano Forum executive president Advocate Subrata Chowdhury, Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury and BNP leader Moazzem Hossain, were present on the occasion.
Thakurgaon, Dec 29 (UNB) – BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Saturday said the people will change the current situation through their votes in Sunday’s election.
He made the remarks while talking to reporters after a meeting with the returning officer at his office in the afternoon.
In his last message to party leaders and activists, Fakhrul asked them to go to polling stations taking people with them. “You’ve to guard the polling centres and make sure so that no one can rig votes.”
He also alleged that a number of important leaders of the district unit BNP were arrested on Friday night and he informed it to the RO and the Superintendent of Police.
The BNP leader, however, said no one can scare the voters through the arrest. “We hope they’ll go to the polling stations if the atmosphere remains peaceful,” he said.
Relying to a query whether there is any conflict in BNP, he outright rejected it and described it as a trickery of the government.
Fakhrul also said they are in the election race and will remain till the last moment.
Dhaka, Dec 29 (UNB) – Jatiya Oikyafront chief Dr Kamal Hossain on Saturday urged the Election Commission and election officials, including returning officers and assistant returning officers, to ensure the environment so that people can exercise their franchise in Sunday’s election.
Addressing a press conference at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity (DRU), he also called upon voters to go to polling stations early in the morning to ensure their voting right and defeat ‘wrongdoers’.
“I urge the respected voters, please go to polling stations in the morning and cast your votes. Don’t get scared. If you go (to voting centres), miscreants will flee... they can’t overpower people’s strength,” Dr Kamal said.
Stating that returning officers, assistant returning officers and others involved in the election activities are respected persons, he said, “If you discharge your duties properly, it’ll increase your dignity. The success of your duties will be determined by the smile on the faces of voters.”
Dr Kamal further said, “If you snatch anyone’s right, remember that someone else is taking away the right of your father, mother, wife and children. If you do this, people, history and the law won’t forgive you.”
He urged people to go to polling centres across the country in the morning to cast their votes. “I urge the respected voters, please go to polling stations in the morning and cast your votes. Don’t get scared. If you go (to voting centres), miscreants will flee... they can’t overpower people’s strength.”
The Oikyafront chief also urged the young voters to go to polling stations in time to exercise their franchise. “Keep in mind you’re finished if you fear, you’re Bangladesh if you resist.”
Claiming that people have much fear and apprehensions in their mind over the election, Dr Kamal said this needs to be removed. “Now there should have been a festivity, but there’re much fear and apprehension in public mind,” he said.
The 11th national election of the country is set to be held from 8 am to 4 pm on Sunday without any break amid tight security.
Dr Kamal, also the president of Gano Forum, called upon the government officials not to deprive people, the country’s owners, of the joy of vote. “You don’t belong to any party as you’re people’s service providers. Don’t carry out any illegal order.”
He urged the Armed Forces and other law enforcement agencies, including BGB, police, Rab, Ansar, VDP and Coast Guard, to play a glorious role as they did in the past. “Your role in maintaining peace is acclaimed all over the world and it has created many scopes for you across the globe. Remain alert so that it can’t be harmed under any circumstance.”
“Let’s cast our votes. Your vote is very valuable as you’re the owners of the country,” the Gano Forum chief added.
No election boycott, no rift in Oikyafront
Asked whether they may boycott the election halfway through, Dr Kamal said, “My clear answer is we won’t stay aside from the polls in any way.”
About their expectation over the election results, he said they firmly believe people will cast their votes in favour of them as they want a change. “We’ll surely win if there’s no anomaly in the election.”
Replying to a question, the Oikyafront chief said there is no question of any division in their alliance. “Rather, our unity has got consolidated further.”
BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Kahn, Gano Forum executive president Subrata Chowdhury, general secretary Mostafa Mohsin Montu, and Gonoshasthya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury were, among others, present.
After the press conference, Dr Kamal talked to some foreign jurists and local representatives of different foreign media, and briefed them about the election situation and their alliance’s position.
Bagerhat, Dec 29 (UNB) – Miscreants torched an office of Awami League in Sorui area of the district town early Saturday.
Shahadat Hossain, additional superintendent of Bagerhat Sadar circle police, said that miscreants set fire to the AL office of ward no-4.
On information, a fire-fighting unit doused the fire.
Police visited the spot in the morning.
Dhaka, Dec 29 (UNB) – The Election Commission started reaching all the election materials, including translucent ballot boxes and ballot papers, to the polling stations across the country on Saturday, a day before the national election.
UNB correspondents from different districts reported that the assistant returning officers are handing over the election materials to the presiding officers.
“Election materials will be reached to the polling stations across the country within this(Saturday) afternoon,” said Election Commission Joint Secretary Farhad Ahmmed Khan.
In Dhaka city, electoral materials are being distributed from 15 vanues for 15 constituencies.
The country’s people are going to witness a battle mainly between two major political camps –-ruling Awami League-led Grand Alliance and Dr Kamal Hossain-led JatiyaOikyafront – in the election to be held with the participation of 39 registered political parties.
Meanwhile, the curtain fell on the 18-day official electioneering on Friday morning amid allegations and counter-allegations of violence from the two major political coalitions.
A total of 103,826,819 voters –- 52,371,616 males and 51,455,203 females -- will be allowed to exercise their franchise in 299 constituencies out of 300 across the country.