Khulna, Dec 22 (UNB) – Two BNP candidates from the district on Saturday alleged that law enforcers and Awami League men have created a ‘frightening’ atmosphere in their constituencies ahead of the election.
Attending a press briefing at the BNP office in the city, BNP contestant for Khulna-2 constituency Nazrul Islam Manju said, “They (police and AL) have created an atmosphere of fear to hold a Khulna City Corporation-style election.”
He demanded immediate suspension of the Police Commissioner of Khulna Metropolitan Police (KMP) and reshuffle in the police administration for holding a fair and appreciable election.
“We’re witnessing a politics of vengeance for the past 10 years. Now, a frightening atmosphere has been created through attacks, mass arrests as well as threats to BNP men. It seems that no election, rather a drama is being staged to reelect Sheikh Hasina,” the BNP contestant said.
Meanwhile, Rakibul Islam Bakul, BNP candidate for Khulna-3 constituency, alleged that the ruling party is using police, Rapid Action Battalion, Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and local administration to suppress the opposition, and the people of his constituency are now feeling insecure.
BNP general secretary of Khulna city unit and former city mayor Mohammad Moniruzzaman, Advocate AFM Mohsin and Advocate Latifur Rahman Labu were, among others, present at the briefing.
Dhaka, Dec 22 (UNB) - BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan on Saturday said there is no Jamaat-e-Islami candidate in the 11th parliamentary elections.
"They (Jamaat leaders) are BNP-nominated aspirants. They’re contesting the election with BNP’s symbol 'Sheaf of Paddy'. Jamaat didn't nominate them. BNP nominated them," he said.
The BNP leader came up with the remarks while talking to reporters at Nirbachan Bhaban.
A BNP team, led by Nazrul Islam, came to the Election Commission to submit a letter containing its demand to either give them a scope of fielding alternative candidates or reschedule the election in the seats where its candidates have been declared disqualified by court.
Replying to a query about those candidates whose names and posts were mentioned in the official website of Jamaat, the BNP leader said, "It’s not a matter at all. The main thing is whether it’s legal or illegal as per the law. Jamaat is not a registered party. We don't know who supports Jamaat."
“Had it been illegal, the Election Commission would have rejected their nomination before distributing the electoral symbol,” he said.
Nazrul Islam said Awami League always says it accepts every decision of the Election Commission. "Then why’re they creating obstacle in every step now?" he asked.
Mentioning that attack on, arrest and harassment of BNP aspirants, and leaders and activists continued across the country, Nazrul Islam said the High Court is declaring the candidacy of BNP candidates illegal on one hand and those are being declared valid are coming under attack on the other.
He cited the names of BNP’s Barishal-4 candidate Shirin Akter, its contestant from Narsingdi’s Manohardi constituency Sarder Sakhawat Hossain and Narsingdi-3 candidate Manjur Elahi who faced harassment or came under attack by Awami League men and police.
Responding to another question about foreign observers, the BNP leader alleged that the government is creating obstacle so that they cannot come here. “If they don't get visas, how will they come here? The government is trying to stage a farce in the name of election."
BNP chairperson’s adviser Ataur Rahman Dhali and BNP joint secretary general Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal were also present there.
Nilphamari, Dec 22 (UNB) – Accusing Awai League of hatching various plots to win the election without people’s vote, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Saturday urged the voters to guard the polling stations on December 30 until the vote counting ends.
“They (AL) have got alienated from people. They’re making various evil designs as they know they won’t be able to win the election with people’s votes,” he said.
Speaking at an election rally at Saidpur here, the BNP leader further said, “Don’t leave the voting centers without the end of vote counting. You’ll return home wearing the garland of victory.”
He alleged that there is no election atmosphere in the country and enthusiasm among people over the election as the Election Commission has failed to ensure a level-playing field.
“The current Election Commission is worthless and helpless one. It can do nothing except observing everything silently. So, a fair election won’t be possible to hold under it,” the BNP leader said.
Fakhrul said the 11th national election is very crucial for the nation as it will determine whether democracy will prevail in the country or not.
He urged the law enforcement agencies to play a neutral role in ensuring a fair and peaceful election. “You don’t belong to any party as you’re the servants of the republic. So, it’s your duty to ensure an atmosphere where people will be able to go to polling stations and cast their votes in a peaceful manner.”
Fakhrul also sought vote for Nilphamari-4 constituency BNP candidate Amjad Hossain.
Sylhet, Dec 22 (UNB) - Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday vowed to bring back BNP acting Chairman Tarique Rahman, who has been convicted in a number of cases, from London to execute the court verdicts.
"There’s one person who is playing games from London. He’s a convicted criminal. If Allah gives us the scope, we’ll bring back that convicted criminal and execute the verdicts on Bangladesh soil. We won’t allow anyone to play with the fate of the people of the country," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said this while addressing a mammoth election campaign rally organised by district and city units of Awami League at the Govt Alia Madrasah ground.
Chaired by acting President of district AL Lutfar Rahman, Finance Minister AMA Muhith, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid, AL Joint Secretaries Mahbub-ul Alam Hanif, Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Abdur Rahman, Organising Secretaries Ahmed Hossain, AFM Bahauddin Nasim and Misbahuddin Siraj, Jubo League Chairman Omar Faruk Chowdhury and AL candidate from Sylhet-1 (Sadar) Dr AK Abdul Momen also spoke at the rally.
Referring to Tarique Rahman, the eldest son of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, Hasina said the convicted criminal who is now fugitive and staying abroad is conspiring against the country.
She said Bangladesh has been recognised across the globe as the government in the last 10 years implemented numerous development projects for the welfare of the country and its people. "Bangladesh will march forward maintaining this honour and recognition. This honour must not be allowed to decay. We need your votes in favour of Boat for this," she said.
Seeking votes for ‘Boat’ in the forthcoming December 30 general election, the AL chief said, "Because, ‘Boat’ means development while the meaning of ‘Sheaf of Paddy’ is corruption, terrorism, militancy and arson terrorism."
Sheikh Hasina blasted BNP for giving nomination to war criminals.
She also said BNP auctioned its nominations this time to earn money from the nomination seekers. "If BNP comes to power, they’ll just ruin the country, its development, and demolish all the achievements of the country. Because, they don’t believe in the independence of the country," she said.
The AL chief said the BNP-Jamaat government portrayed Bangladesh as a country of corruption, militancy and terrorism. "They ruined the dignity of the people of this country."
She also said the emergency was proclaimed in 2008 due to the misdeeds of the BNP-Jamaat clique.
In the name of resisting the election in 2014, Hasina said, they unleashed a reign of terror through arson attacks and killing people. "They only know how to kill people, and indulge in corruption, money-laundering, arms smuggling and looting. They embezzled orphans’ money. Khaleda Zia’s favourite persons who were in the then caretaker government lodged cases against her. In that case, she was convicted and is now in jail. Neither AL nor I’m responsible for her imprisonment," she added.
Urging people to give Awami League another scope for serving the country, the AL president said, "Inshallah, the symbol of ‘Boat’ will come out victorious in the next election.”
She mentioned that whenever AL comes to power, it always works for the welfare of people.
The Prime Minister said using the talents and merit of the youth, AL wants to build the country as a developed and prosperous one. "We’re working keeping that goal in mind," she said.
She said the Sylhet-Dhaka highway will be elevated into a four-lane one and
Sylhet city will be provided with all the facilities of a divisional city.
She also said every house of the country will come under the electricity coverage by 2021.
The Prime Minister also introduced the AL and Grand Alliance candidates in all the constituencies of four districts -- Sylhet, Moulvibazar, Sunamganj and Habiganj –- under Sylhet divisions before the audience.
Dhaka, Dec 22 (UNB) – BNP on Saturday voiced high hope that the prevailing election atmosphere will be improved with the deployment of Armed Forces on Monday.
“The Armed Forces are symbol of the country’s independence and sovereignty. People count on them. People believe that the terrorists won’t be able to cast fake votes and stuff ballot boxes at the dead of night if army remains in the field,” said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
Speaking at a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, he further said, “Opposition parties have repeatedly been talking about their deployment as they believe army can keep their trust. We believe people’s confidence will be restored in the election process and a possibility for a fair election will be widened if the Armed Forces are deployed.”
The BNP leader alleged that police are out there on the field with their full strength to hold a lopsided election in favour of Awami League.
He said police kept arresting their party leaders and activists and raiding their houses across the country. “Even, they’re arresting the wives and children of the BNP leaders at some places.”
The BNP leader said they have come to know that law enforcers may intensify their operation across the country to arrest the leaders and activists of Jatiya Oikyafront from today (Saturday).
He said their party’s 6,675 leaders and activists have been arrested while four others killed since the announcement of the election schedule.
About the shutdown of around 30 pages and accounts by social media giants Facebook and Twitter for spreading false information relating to Bangladesh election, Rizvi alleged that a deputy press secretary of the Prime Minister used to look after those social media sites.
He also alleged that the ruling party was carrying out false propaganda against BNP and its top leaders through those social media pages and accounts.