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) – Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain on Wednesday formed a new bench to hear the petition over BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s candidature in all the three constituencies she submitted nomination papers to contest the upcoming national election.
The Chief Justice formed the one-member bench headed by Justice JBM Hassan.
On Tuesday, the bench of Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir issued a split order on Khaleda Zia’s candidature.
Her nominations for Feni-1, Bogura-6 and 7 constituencies were rejected by returning officers. The Election Commission also upheld the decisions, prompting the former prime minister to move the High Court on Monday.
Senior Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed stayed the EC’s decision and accepted Khaleda’s appeal while Justice Md Iqbal Kabir upheld the decision.
Later, the appeal was sent to the Chief Justice as per rules to form a new bench.
Khaleda was jailed for five years on February 8 this year in Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case. Her jail term was doubled by the High Court on October 30. A day before that, she was sentenced to seven-year imprisonment by a special court in the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case.
The former prime minister filed nominations for contesting the upcoming national election from the three seats. But election officials declared her ineligible for polls on December 2 since she was convicted in the two graft cases.
Khaleda’s lawyers moved the Election Commission on Wednesday. Barrister Kaisar Kamal filed appeal for Feni-1, while Barrister Nowshad Jamir for Bogura-6 and Advocate Masud Ahmed Talukder for Bogura-7.
On Saturday, the commission upheld the returning officers’ decision.
Dhaka, Dec 12 (UNB) – BNP senior leader Moudud Ahmed on Wednesday alleged that the Election Commission (EC) and police and civil administration are working under the full control of the government.
Speaking at a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, he also brought various allegations of violation of election rules by his rival Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader in Noakhali-5 seat.
“The ruling party has established its supremacy everywhere across the country. The reality is that the Election Commission and police and civil administration have been working completely at the government’s dictate,” the BNP leader said.
Moudud, a BNP standing committee member, alleged that the government-sponsored ‘terrorists’ with the help of the EC and police are trying to foil the atmosphere of a fair election.
“Despite having permission for holding a rally at Kabirhat in my area, the DC and SP phoned me not to go there. So, what kind of election it is! It’s demonstrated that no election is going to be held when a candidate like me has to return home having failed to hold an election rally,” he said.
The BNP leader said their candidates are facing the same situation across the country. “The ruling party has the hegemony and the power of police and administration, but they’ve no vote. That’s why they are showing such an attitude.”
Moudud said the ruling party is resorting to anarchic acts as they know they will face debacle if the election is held fairly, at least partially. “People are in a serious doubt whether any fair election will be held.”
The BNP leader, however, said their party and alliances will be there in the election race till the end braving all repressive acts.
“A mass wave has been created in favour of Sheaf of Paddy, and Awami League won’t be able to resist it, no matter how much power they abuse,” he observed.
About the election atmosphere in his electoral area, Moudud said his opponent Obaidul Quader has been on campaign enjoying state facilities and protocol. “He moves with a convoy of 7-8 vehicles and over a hundred motorbikes enjoying all the government facilities.”
The BNP leader said though he lodged many complaints with the EC and returning officer about the violation of lection code of conduct by Quader, no action has so far been taken against him.
“Awami League’s Noakhali-4 seat candidate Ekramul Karim Chowdhury on Monday at a rally openly asked the ruling party men not to allow Moudud to enter Kabirhat,” he said.
The BNP leader said Awami League leaders and activists foiled his scheduled rally at Kabirhat and attacked his activists on Tuesday, leaving over 100 people injured.
Besides, he alleged, the houses of over 100 BNP leaders and activists were vandalised in his constituency over the last nine days by ruling party followers.
Dhaka, Dec 12 (UNB) – The campaign convoy of BNP’s Dhaka-9 seat candidate Afroza Abbas reportedly came under attack twice at Kamalapur and Madartek in the city by ruling party followers on Wednesday, leaving five people injured.
A group of ruling party activists, led by local Awami League leader Chittaranjan Das and Chhatra League leader Shahrira, equipped with rods and sticks attacked the motorcade of Afroza Abbas at Madartek around 12pm, said her media coordinator Nahid Nazrul.
He said the Awami League workers damaged a vehicle of Afroza and assaulted her driver Abdur Rashid.
Thy also beat up four BNP activists as they tried to rescue Rashid, Nahid added.
He said Rashid was admitted to Al-Baraka Hospital in a critical condition.
Earlier, Nahid said the same group attacked Afroza Abba and her followers near Kamalapur Boys’ High School around 10am when they were carrying out election campaign there.
He claimed the attackers also assaulted some female activists of Afroza.
Meanwhile, Mirza Abbas, husband of Afroza and BNP’s candidate for Dhaka-8 constituency, warned that he has the strength to put up resistance against any attack on him.
Talking to reporters while conducting campaign in Motijheel area, he said, “I’ve heard around 100 Awami League cadres with sticks are waiting for me to be at Paribagh. I would like to tell BNP activists that I’ve the strength to resist any such attack.”
Abbas said his wife’s election campaign came under repeated attacks since morning. “She didn’t engage in fight. I also don’t want to lock into any clash as we’re on election campaign to woo and inspire voters.”
The BNP leader also said police are not taking any step to resist the attackers as they are only playing the role of silent spectators.
Gazipur, Dec 12 (UNB) –The electioneering rally of BNP candidate Chowdhury Tanvir Ahmed Siddiq for Gazipur-1 constituency came under attack in Safipur Bazar of Kaliakoir upazila on Wednesday morning.
When the BNP candidate was addressing rally in the area around 11am, some Jubo League leaders and activists riding 50 motorcycles appeared there chanting ‘Joy Bangla’, claimed the BNP leaders.
When the rally reached in front of a market adjacent to Dhaka-Tangail highway, a gang of youths attacked the rally and barred Tanvir from holding the rally.
Later, the BNP leader along with his followers left the place and went to Kaliakoir upazila sadar.