Dhaka, Nov 14 (UNB) – BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Wednesday blamed police for the clash in front of their Nayapaltan central office and said it will only hamper the election atmosphere.
“The government is trying to ruin the election atmosphere by attacking our leaders and activists. This is unfortunate that law enforcers attacked our leaders and activists,” he said.
Fakhrul made the remarks while talking to reporters just before joining the meeting between Dr Kamal Hossain-led Jatiya Oikyafront delegation and the Election Commission at Nirbachan Bhaban.
He urged the government not to create any such incident further in the days to come. “We also call upon (govt) to ensure a congenial election atmosphere.”
The meeting began around 3:30pm where Dr Kamal and other Oikyafront leaders are supposed to talk about their various demands, including the deferment of the national election, and observations on the election.
Meanwhile, Awami League alleged that BNP activists, led party senior leader Mirza Abbas attacked police ‘without any provocation’ in front of its Nayapaltan central office as part of the party’s ‘plot’ to foil the election and topple the government.
Speaking at a press conference at Awami League President’s Dhanmondi office, party general secretary Obaidul Quader also said the attack on police by BNP has demonstrated that the party does not want to join the election.
Earlier in the day, a fierce clash broke out between police and BNP leaders and activists in front of BNP’s Nayapaltan Central office, leaving an unspecified number of people, including law enforcers, injured.
Witness said BNP standing committee member Mirza Abbas along with his several hundred supporters marched towards their party office around 12:40pm and started staging a showdown there before buying party’s nomination paper, halting traffic on the road.
The clash ensued as police locked into an altercation with the BNP leaders and activists over clearing road for vehicular movement.
Dhaka, Nov 14 (UNB) - Awami League President Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday asked the nomination seekers to work for the party-nominated candidates shunning personal conflicts in the coming 11th general election scheduled to be held on December 30.
She gave the directives while addressing the nomination seekers at the beginning of the Awami League Parliamentary Board (ALPB) meeting at her official residence Ganobhaban.
Talking to UNB, some nomination seekers said the AL chief asked the nomination seekers to strengthen the party through working for its nominated candidates in the upcoming elections.
"At the end of the day, we’ve to choose only one person for a constituency, it’s natural. We’ve no other option. You’ll have to work for the party-nominated candidate," a nomination seeker from Chattogram quoted Hasina as saying.
In her over 30-minute speech, she also said this election will be a turning point for the country as the fate of country's development spree is depending on it.
"The conspirators will engage with their full strength against Awami League. So, we all have to remain cautious for the coming days," she was quoted further as saying by the nomination seeker.
Another AL nomination seeker who came from Brahmanbaria said the party chief took guardian-like commitment from them for working for the party-nominated candidates.
Elaborately describing various development activities of the government during its 10 years’ tenure for the welfare of the country, she asked the party leaders and activists coming from various parts of the country to convey those among the common people.
"You should elaborately convey these messages to people and request them to cast their votes in favour of AL so that the development spree could be continued in the coming days," the nomination seeker again quoted the party chief as saying.
Addressing the programme, AL general secretary Obaidul Quader issued a warning of organisational punishment against the rebel candidate. "No one will be spared if one goes against the party decision regarding the nomination," he said.
At least 4,035 aspirants have collected nomination forms to get the Awami League nod for the 11th general election.
The ALPB meeting was supposed to be held at the AL chief's Dhanmondi office, but it was shifted to the Prime Minister's official residence due to shortage of space.
Dhaka, Nov 14 (UNB) – BNP on Wednesday alleged that Awami League has been carrying out a campaign to woo voters through advertisements on different television channels with taxpayers’ money violating the electoral code of conduct.
“Turning on TVs, we find an advertisement of ‘Thank You PM’, and it continues for a while. In some cases, it’s not clear who provided the ad, while in other cases it gets clear after a while that ministries are the advertisers,” said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
Speaking at a press briefing at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, he questioned the Election Commission: Is it not the violation of the election code of conduct to air such advertisements after the announcement of the election schedule?
“Why such publicity is being carried out with public money ahead of the election? This is being done at taxpayers’ money. This is a clear violation of the electoral code of conduct,” the BNP leader added.
He also alleged that the Election Commission is giving a blind eye to the violation of the electoral code of conduct by the ruling party men.
Rizvi urged Awami League to stop carrying out its campaign through advertisements by wasting public money.
He called upon the Election Commission to ensure equal opportunities for all the political parties in the mass media.
The BNP leader alleged that the Election Commission wants to control the mass media as it has imposed a restriction on live telecast by TV channels from polling stations during the forthcoming national election.
Dhaka, Nov 14 (UNB) – A delegation of Jatiya Oikyafront, led by Dr Kamal Hossain, started a meeting with the Election Commission at 3:30 pm today (Wednesday), seeking deferment of the national election by a month.
Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda and other Commissioners are presents at the meeting being held at Nirbachan Bhaban.
Apart from Kamal Hossain, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and other senior Oikyafront leaders are there at the meeting.
On Tuesday, Fakhrul said they will talk about their various demands, including the deferment of the election, and observations on the election during the meeting with the EC.
Dhaka, Nov 14 (UNB) – BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on Wednesday told a court that a level-playing field cannot be ensured for all political parties in the upcoming general election keeping her and her party leaders in jail.
“While everyone is busy with the election, we’ve been confined to the court. We’re made to conduct our election activities amid numerous obstacles,” she said during the charge-framing hearing against her in the Niko graft case in the Dhaka Special Judge Court-9.
“This can’t happen that one party will participate in the election keeping me in jail and my party leaders and activists in court,” the BNP chief said, demanding that all parties are given equal facilities for conducting electioneering.
She also urged the court to stay the trial proceedings of the case until the election ends.
Khaleda said the trial in the case should not continue inside the Old Central Jail as it lacks adequate air and light. “The Constitution safeguards people’s basic rights but the court has no atmosphere for holding a public trial. How the justice will be established?”
Meanwhile, the court fixed January 3 for hearing the charge-framing against the BNP chairperson and others in the Niko graft case.
Dhaka Special Judge Court- 9 Judge Mahmudul Hasan fixed the date after Khaleda's lawyers filed a petition seeking adjournment of the hearing.
Khaleda Zia was brought to the court in a wheelchair during the hearing.
On November 7, the Law Ministry issued a gazette notification saying that the trial of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and other accused in the Niko corruption case will be held at the makeshift court in Old Dhaka Central Jail.
Khaleda Zia has been in jail at Nazimuddin Road since she was sentenced to five years' imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case on February 8 last.
The ACC on December 9, 2007 filed the Niko graft case against Khaleda and four others in connection with a Tk 137.77 loss to the national exchequer caused by the signing of an oil-gas exploration agreement with Canadian company Niko during the BNP tenure.