Dhaka, Nov 30 (UNB) – BNP on Friday alleged that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina herself creating barriers towards ensuring a level-playing field by 'violating' the electoral code of conduct.
“Over 150 retired army officers met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Ganobhaban on Tuesday and promised to work for ensuring Awami League’s victory. The Prime Minister’s such activities using Ganobhaban and enjoining all government facilities are making the election controversial,” said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
Speaking at a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, he further said, “Isn’t the retired army officers’ commitment of working for Awami League at Ganobhaban in presence of the Prime Minister a violation of the electoral code of conduct?”
The BNP leader also said Sheikh Hasina’s such ‘illegal’ activities have demonstrated that the government is again moving on to hold a unilateral and voter-less election.
Rizvi alleged that the Prime Minister on Tuesday made ‘indecent and provocative’ remarks against BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia, its acting chairman Tarique Rahman and the top most leader of the Jatiya Oikyafront. “She can’t make such statements after the announcement of the election schedule. The Prime Minister violated the code of conduct with her offensive comments.”
He said Hasina also took interviews of Awami League’s nomination seekers at Ganobhaban, held a meeting with returning officers, and worked out plans with minsters and MPs at Ganobhaban to ensure her party’s victory in a 'lopsided election'.
The BNP leader alleged that though they lodged written complaints with the Election Commission (EC) about the violation of the code of conduct by the Prime Minister, it still did not take any action against her.
He said the Election Commission is providing the government all-out cooperation in holding a stage-managed election.
Rizvi urged the EC to exercise its constitutional authorities to ‘restore’ people’s ‘lost’ voting rights. “We hope you will take prompt action against the Prime Minister for violating the electoral code of conduct, and take steps for creating a proper election atmosphere.”
Dhaka, Nov 30 (UNB) – BNP senior leader Moudud Ahmed on Friday urged the country’s voters to get united and cast their votes on December 30 under any situation to free Khaleda Zia from jail and get rid of the “misrule and oppression of the current government”.
“I would like to tell the voters that this is your time. You take oath that you’ll cast your votes. This is a struggle of the country’s 10 crore voters, not only of BNP and Jatiya Oikyafront,” he said.
Speaking at a discussion, he further said, “I call upon all to convince voters that this is the last chance to free Khaleda Zia and get rid of the repression of the current government.”
Adorsho Nagorik Andolon and Jatiya Manobadhikar Andolon jointly organised the programme at the Jatiya Press Club.
Moudud, a BNP standing committee member, said a mass wave has been created in favour of the ‘Sheaf of Paddy’ across the country, and the ruling party will not be able to tackle it if people can cast their votes. “That’s why we should persuade the voters that they must go to polling stations braving all obstacles, threats and intimidations. We must put up a strong resistance if they (AL) create any obstacles. We have no other alternative to it.”
He also asked BNP leaders and activists not to get frustrated but to make their all-out efforts to get success in the struggle of vote by mobilising people. “I also call upon all to keep in touch with people and organise them to win the election. We’ve no chance to lose this time as people are with us,” the BNP leader said.
He said people are ready to give a befitting reply to the “misdeeds” of the current government through ballots.
The BNP leader voiced concern that their party’s three candidates were arrested over the last two days while the law enforcers continued implicating their leaders and activists in ‘fictitious’ cases and raiding their houses.
“The government knows it very well that they can’t win the polls, no matter how many evil designs they make as they have no vote at the field level. So, they don’t want voters to go to the polling stations,” he observed.
Moudud accused his electoral opponent and Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader of violating the election code of conduct by staging a big showdown with people and candidates of two other constituencies while submitting his nomination paper.
He said the Election Commission (EC) is playing an inactive role in ensuring a level-playing field.
The BNP leader said though they sent letters to the EC with their demands for transferring the partisan officials of police and field administration, it did not take any action in this regard.
Nagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna said the EC is working as a ‘puppet’ of the government instead of trying to create a level-playing field.
He said people are waiting to give votes under any circumstance to ensure the victory of the Jatiya Oikyafront.
Gonoshasthya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury said the current government‘s fall is certain as people are not with it.
He said larger number of aspirants submitted their nomination papers to contest the election with BNP’s election symbol, which has indicated people’s growing support for the party.
Zafrullah, however, said BNP will face problem in the election if it cannot effectively handle candidates while giving final nomination after scrutiny.
Dhaka, Nov 30 (UNB) – Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Friday said his party’s election manifesto will be unveiled by December 15.
The plan to transform villages into townships will get preference while incorporating development programmes in the manifesto, Quader said while talking to reporters at the party president’s Dhanmondi political office in the morning.
Focusing on various achievements of the present government, Obaidul said, “Though BNP was in power for a long time, it could not present any mega project. Instead, the country had fallen behind during its rule for lack of farsightedness.”
Quader, also Road Transport and Bridges Minister, hoped that the Awami League manifesto will earn the appreciation of the people of the country.
Some 50 new faces will be there in the in the Awami League nomination to gradually change the old guards at its all levels, said Obaidul.
“Awami League won’t flee the country, no matter whether it remains in power or not… we’ll do politics for the people of the country,” he added.
The 11th preliminary elections are scheduled to be held on December 30.
Dhaka, Nov 29 (UNB) – BNP senior leaders on Thursday evening shared their various concerns and observations over the 11th parliamentary elections with a delegation of the European Union (EU).
The three-member EU team, led by its Ambassador to Bangladesh Rensje Teerink, had around a one-hour and 45-minute meeting with the BNP leaders at the party chairperson’s Gulshan office.
The two other members of the EU delegation are election experts David Noel Ward and Eirini-Maria Gounari.
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, standing committee members Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan, Nazrul Islam Khan, Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury, organising secretary Shama Obaid and executive committee member Tabith Awal were, among others, present at the meeting.
However, there was no briefing from any side about the meeting.
Contacted, a BNP leader who was present at the meeting said they shared with the EU team about their various concerns and observations over the election.
“We talked about the Election Commission’s (EC’s) failure to create a level-playing field, filing fictitious cases against our leaders and activists, the arrest and jailing of our leaders, including our candidates, the biased role of the Commission, and civil and police administrations,” the BNP leader said.
He said the EU team told them that David Noel Ward and Eirini-Maria Gounari will stay in Bangladesh for 40 days to know the election situation here.
They also said they are closely following the election activities of the political parties, the EC and other stakeholders, and will submit a report to the headquarters based on their observations.
Earlier in the day, the EU delegation also had a meeting with ruling Awami League leaders.
Narsingdi, Nov 29 (UNB) - BNP senior joint secretary general and the party’s candidate for Narsingd-1 constituency, Khairul Kabir Khokon, was sent to jail in two cases here on Thursday.
Narsingdi Distract and Sessions judge Mohammad Atabullah passed the order as Khokon appeared before the court seeking bail in the two cases.
Of the two cases, one was filed with Narsingdi Model Police Station in February this year on charge of his involved with subversive activities while another was filed with the same police station two months later under the Explosive Substances Act.
Khokon submitted his nomination paper to the district returning officer on Wednesday to contest the upcoming general election with BNP’s ticket from Narsingdi-1 seat.