Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud on Friday said finding errors in everything has turned into a bad habit of the BNP.
He made the remarks at Pabna Government Edward College while speaking at Awami League’s grassroots workers’ meeting.
“Finding errors in everything has become BNP’s bad habit,” he said suggesting the party to come out of the habit.
About his own party’s situation, Hasan Mahmud said, “Many leaders changed their stance when AL was in danger. There’re many intruders in the party.”
He also said that those who entered the party seeking favours won’t get any post while the rich will also not be made leaders of the party.
Asked about low voter turnout in the Dhaka city elections, the minister said BNP spread confusion over EVM and participated in the city polls as a part of their movement which created fear among voters.
“BNP made mistake in mathematics,” he added.
AL’s Pabna district unit Senior Vice-President and Pabna Zila Parishad Chairman Rezaul Rahim Lal presided over the meeting where local parliament members, and AL leaders were present.
BNP standing committee member Iqbal Hasan Mahmud Tuku on Friday said Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader takes a swipe at BNP before washing his face every morning as he always remains in panic about their party.
"So, there's nothing to take cognisance of his words," he said while distributing leaflets among people in Mohammadpur Town Hall area demanding the release of BNP chief Khaleda Zia from jail.
Tuku claimed that their lakhs of leaders and activists are facing arrest and attacks and are in jail as they have waged a movement.
Claiming that it was proved through the recent election that people have no confidence in the government, he said they are working so that tomorrow's rally turns into a human sea.
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Thursday described as a ‘black law’ the bill passed in Parliament on Wednesday to bring the surplus money of 61 state-owned and autonomous agencies to the national exchequer.
“Definitely, this is a black law. They’ve legalised their evil intention through the law. The evil intention is that they’ve left the economy bankrupt. If we go through newspaper reports of the last few days, we’ll see that the government is borrowing around 49,000 crore from the banking sector and there’s no positive picture of the economy other than the negative one,” he said.
Fakhrul further said, “This was proved through the law that the government has started taking money from everywhere. This can be called part of corruption because the government will use the money in quick rental power plants and mega projects where corruption is taking place.”
While talking to reporters at the BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office, he said no government took money from the autonomous bodies in the past. “If the government takes money from such organisations and uses it in mega projects, this will give a rise to corruption.”
Amid strong opposition from Jatiya Party (JaPa) and BNP MPs, a bill was passed in Parliament on Wednesday allowing the government to bring the surplus money of self-governed agencies to the national exchequer.
According to the bill, the surplus funds of self-governed agencies will have to be deposited to the national exchequer after keeping aside the operational cost, additional 25 percent of the operational cost as emergency funds, money for general provident fund and pension.
The respective organisation can estimate its operational cost.
If an organisation does not provide correct information about the funds, legal actions will be taken against it, the bill says.
The Cabinet approved the draft bill on September 2 last year when the Cabinet Secretary said as per the latest balance of 68 organisations, an amount of Tk 212,100 crore remains stagnant as FDR in different banks and the money is not being invested for its better use.
Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Wednesday said that people rejected BNP’s hartal denouncing results of Dhaka north and south city corporation elections.
He came up with the remarks while responding to reporters at secretariat.
Quader, also Road, Transport and Bridges minister, said that no one from the BNP who called the shutdown, was not seen on the road.
“I won’t say that our democracy is perfect. It’s improving gradually as it’s an evolving process,” he said.
Responding to reporters, the minister said no observer can say or prove vote rigging in the city polls. Besides, there was no major incident except some sporadic incidents.
“The election was free and fair. We don’t know why [BNP’s]Mirza Fakhrul was angry. What was their motive? There’s no scope of vote rigging in the EVM process which has been chosen to stop vote rigging. There was no one from BNP on election day. There were so many people in their election campaign, where were they on the election day?” Quader asked.
Asked about allegations raised by councillor candidates, he said that only 13 renegade candidates won.
While responding to Mirza Fakhrul’s rejection of city polls results, Quader said it was Fakhrul’s failure. He failed to show any success. “But the BNP got good number of votes even when the party was in a messy condition and without any leadership,” he said.
BNP called a dawn to dusk hartal for Sunday rejecting the Dhaka city polls results.
BNP Wednesday demanded reelections to Dhaka south and north city corporations cancelling Saturday’s voting as the party said people’s opinion was not reflected in the polls.
Speaking at a post-election press conference at Emanuel's Banquet Hall in the city’s Gulshan area, party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir also claimed that only 7-9 percent votes were cast in the city polls.
BNP’s defeated two mayoral candidates, Tabith Awal and Ishraque Hossain-- arranged the press conference to give their formal reactions to Dhaka north and south city corporation’s polls held on Saturday.
“We would like to clearly say that people’s opinion was not reflected in the city polls, and people couldn’t cast their votes. So, we call for cancelling the results of that polls holding fresh election to the two city corporations,” Fakhrul said.
He said the voter presence in the election was very low as people have no confidence in the government and the Election Commission.
Fakhrul alleged that the government has destroyed the country’s election system and all the democratic institutions with an aim to ‘restore’ one-party Baksal rule which Awami League could not fully establish in 1975.
Fakhrul said a valid question is raised about whether those who won such city polls with ‘actual seven to nine percent votes’ are legally eligible to discharge the duties as the public representatives.
He said the elections held in the country over the last 10-12 years have proved that no polls cane never be held fairly under Awami League.
“That’s why we’ve long been saying repeatedly about holding election under a non-party government, like caretaker government what was in the past, and under an impartial election commission to resolve the problem,” the BNP leader observed.
He also said the main political ‘crisis, the country has long been facing, can only be resolved through arranging a free, fair, inclusive and participatory election.
Fakhrul said it is a difficult task to ‘restore’ democracy and intensify the democratic movement. “So, we’ll free Khaleda Zia and then restore democracy.”
At the press conference, Tabith and Ishraque depicted various election irregularities, including obstructing voters from going to polling stations and attacking BNP leaders and activists, through screening separate documentaries.
The two candidates also turned down the election results.
BNP’s Dhaka North City Corporation polls mayoral candidate Tabith Awal demanded the Election Commission present transparently all the information about the results of the city elections.
He also said voters were not allowed to enter the polling station at the behest of senior Awami League leaders. “Attempts to control the voting centers were made by creating fake voter lines and keeping ruling party activists there. The ruling party didn’t allow voters to come to the polling stations in a planned way to rig votes.”
“Our ruling party opponent’s main strategy was to bar voters from entering the polling stations and stopping them from casting votes,” Tabith added.
He said Awami League’s DNCC mayoral candidate Atiqul Islam met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at 9pm and declared himself as the mayor-elect when the results of only 20% centres were announced.
The BNP candidate also presented some documents on driving out his election agents from polling stations and taking position at the polling booths by ruling party men to force people cast votes for the Awami League candidate.
Tabith said the Chief Election Commissioner had assured them of announcing the results four-five hour after the end of voting since the election was held with EVMs, but people had to wait for the results unit 4am. “We still didn’t get the written results with all the information.”
BNP’s Dhaka South City Corporation polls’ mayoral candidate Ishraque Hossain said the Election Commission announced ‘imaginary and fabricated’ results, and thus injustice has been done to the voters through the city polls.
He said the city dwellers were deprived of their right to franchise. “The ruling party cadres captured the polling stations and staged a grand festival of vote rigging.”
Ishraque said he found frustration and helplessness among some police, election officials and other government officials concerned as the government forced all the state machinery to play a subservient role in favour of it.
He also said through the city polls it has been proved that EVMs are faulty and ineffective voting system while the Sheaf of Paddy symbol was not kept on many machines.
The BNP candidate said as the voter turnout was less than 10 percent the presiding officers were forced to cast fake votes using special codes.