Dhaka, Nov 23 (UNB) – BNP on Friday alleged that the Election Commission (EC) and police officials have made a ‘grand plan’ against BNP and Jatiya Oikyafront to suppress them during the upcoming national election.
“It seems that the Election Commission and police officials held a meeting together yesterday (Thursday) against BNP and Oikyafront. Their discussions at the meeting gave an impression that they made a grand plan to suppress BNP and Oikyafront during the forthcoming national election,” said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
Speaking at a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, he also said it is now clear that the EC will not take any step to remove the partisan police officials appointed by the government to different posts.
“The EC is working to create a level-playing field in favour of the government while police are sincerely assisting the Commission not to hold a fair and credible election as no one can resist Oikyafront’s victory in an acceptable election,” the BNP leader said.
He said the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) during the meeting with police officials said no one will be transferred from their current postings despite the opposition parties’ demand for removing the ‘controversial’ officials. “The CEC’s such comment will only inspire the partisan official to be more desperate.”
Rizvi said though the police authorities assured them of not filing any fictitious case after the announcement of the election schedule, such cases are still being filed against their leaders and activists regularly.
He alleged that the ruling party’s probable candidates are carrying out election campaign and public rallies in their areas violating the election code of conduct while police and ruling party cadres are obstructing BNP’s aspirants from going to their constituencies.
Even, the BNP leader alleged that from the Prime Minister to ministers, everyone is violating the election code of conduct as the EC is playing a silent role. “The government is using the state machinery like their family property. We strongly condemn it.”
He also alleged that their party’s nomination seekers are being arrested to keep BNP away from the election.
Rizvi demanded the release of their arrested probable candidates Rafiqul Islam Miah, Gisasuddin Quader Chowdhury and ANM Ehsanul Haque Milon.
Dhaka, Nov 23 (UNB) - BNP senior leader Moudud Ahmed on Friday urged the leaders and activists of their party and alliances to get ready for a strong struggle on the election day to cast their votes under any circumstance.
“It’s our last chance and the last test. You’ll have to cast your votes, if necessary by engaging in fights, and that means you’ll have to go to voting centres and cast your votes by resisting those who will obstruct you. We’ve no other choice,” he said.
Speaking at a discussion, the BNP leader further said, “Your victory is certain if you can go to polling stations along with the voters of the ‘Sheaf of Paddy’ by putting up a counter-resistance against those will try to impede you.”
Nagorik Odhikar Andolon, a pro-BNP platform, arranged the programme at the Jatiya Press Club, marking BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman’s 54th birthday.
Moudud, a BNP standing committee member, said the government has got desperate to win the election by any means as its all intelligence reports suggest that the ruling party has no chance to come out successful as BNP and its alliance partners are there in the race.
He said the government has become frightened seeing the wave of people in favour of their election symbol, the Sheaf of Paddy.
“I would like to say the government’s all blueprints and evil designs will fall apart with the wave of mass people in favour of the Sheaf of Paddy, and people will reflect their will by carrying out a strong fight,” the BNP leader observed.
He came down hard on the Election Commission (EC) for its ‘failure’ to ensure a level-playing field, and said the Commission has turned into a nailless ruling party organisation.
Moudud said their party leaders and activists are arrested regularly while many of them cannot stay in their houses due to harassment by police, even after the announcement of the election schedule. “The Prime Minister promised to stop it, but our hundreds of leaders and activists are being arrested every day.”
He said no official of the civil and police administrations has so far been transferred as the government and the EC is working with an identical goal to ensure the victory of Awami League.
The BNP leader said the civil and police administrations were supposed come under the jurisdiction of the EC, but the Commission has failed to do that. “The civil and police administrations are still under the government’s control.”
He said the Prime Minister held a meeting with returning officers recently, but the Commission did not register its protest against it.
Moudud warned that Bangladesh will turn into a ‘failed’ sate if the EC fails to hold a fair election this time.
Dhaka, Nov 22 (UNB) – President of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Oli Ahmed on Thursday sought the intervention of the Election Commission (EC) in stopping the arrest and harassment of opposition leaders and activists for the sake of a credible election.
“Even after the announcement of the election schedule, many BNP leaders and activists were arrested and taken on remand over the last few days. But, the Election Commission is playing a silent spectator’s role,” he said.
Speaking at a press conference at a Banani hotel, he further said, “We think it may hamper the national election. We want the Election Commission to immediately interfere in the matter.”
Oli, also the chief coordinator of the BNP-led 20-party alliance, alleged that the government is trying to influence the election results by resorting to various ‘evil designs’.
He said the government appointed many retired secretaries as advisers on the plea of looking after various development projects to influence the election results. “The Commission should immediately cancel such appointments, and thus reflect the hopes and aspirations of people.”
The LDP chief said people’s backs are now pushed against the wall while the country’s economy may collapse anytime for lack of god governance, the rule of law and due to wrong polices and politicisation.
To get rid of the current situation, he said, people irrespective of their party, opinion and religion must get united and establish their voting rights.
Dhaka, Nov 22 (UNB) - Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda on Thursday urged the law enforcers not to harass presiding officers by visiting their houses to collect information as it embarrasses them.
“We didn’t tell the police to gather information by visiting the houses of polling officials. Don’t do this as it only embarrasses them. We don’t want this. “If you need any important information, then collect it secretly,” he said.
The CEC came up with the remarks while speaking at a special meeting with law enforcers at the city's Nirbachan Bhaban.
Claiming that no innocent person was arrested after the announcement of the election schedule, the CEC said, “Don’t arrest anyone without warrant and also don't file any case against anyone to harass them. I hope you people aren’t doing this.”
After December 15, small teams of the armed forces will be sent to each district to work at the field level, he said adding, “Coordinate with them accordingly.”
He said the help of every government agency is needed to hold fair election as it is not possible to do that by the Election Commission alone.
“The people of the country expect that the commission will hold a fair election. So, we’ve taken all the necessary measurements for holding a fair election. But, the commission alone cannot hold a fair election…the cooperation of all the government agencies is needed,” he said.
“The safety of the general people, polling agents, polling centres and all other kinds of safety depend on you. You’ve lots of responsibilities," the CEC told the law enforcers.
He hoped that the police will perform their duties with devotion and sincerity.
Mentioning that the EC believes in the independence of law enforcers, he said, “We’ve the faith in you. That doesn't mean you won’t be there in our surveillance, but don’t get scared of that."
“No innocent person will be punished. If any complaint is lodged against any member of law enforcement agencies, the Commission will investigate it first,” he added.
Four election commissioners, EC secretaries, additional secretaries, public security secretary, IGP, director General of National Identity Registration department, DMP commissioner and senior officials of the police were, among others, present at the meeting.
Dhaka, Nov 21 (UNB) - The four-day interview of the BNP’s nomination seekers concluded on Wednesday night with the party nomination board’s strong message to the party rank and file to remain united and ensure party’s victory in the election by working for candidates whoever get its tickets.
The interview formally ended around 10:15pm with the interview of nomination seekers from different districts under Dhaka division at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan.
Earlier in the day, the party nomination board, comprising its standing committee members, took the interview of 233 nomination seekers from Mymensingh and Faridpur divisions from 10am to 3pm.
Like the three previous days, BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman joined the nomination board through a telecommunication app from the UK.
BNP started interviewing its nomination hopefuls to finalise the candidates who will contest the 11th parliamentary elections with its tickets on Sunday last with the interview of those who bought party nomination forms for Rangpur division’s Panchagar-1 constituency at the same venue.
Talking to UNB, some aspirants said Tarique mainly asked them about their popularity in their respective areas, BNP’s organisational strength and their contributions to the party.
He also gave the party‘s nomination hopefuls a guideline on how they should mobilise public support and ensure the victory of the party in the election.
BNP sold 4,580 nomination papers among the aspirants who want to contest the 11th parliamentary elections with its tickets.
The 11th parliamentary elections will be held on December 30. The last date for submission of nomination papers is November 28 instead of November 19.
Earlier in the day, party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told reporters that all of those who faced interview are very tested and dedicated party leaders and they will put in their all-out efforts to ensure the party’s victory in the election. “We believe the way we’re getting response from people, we’ll surely be able to remove the current autocratic regime.”
Talking to UNB after the interview, the nomination hopefuls said they were given strong messages to stay united and refrain from intra-party conflicts and violence as the party wants to return to power through a credible and peaceful general election.
They also said they were instructed to get ready to resist any kind of vote fraud with their united efforts.
The nomination board also asked the party hopefuls to work for the candidates of their alliance partners with the same spirit and provide them all-out cooperation in the greater interest of the party and have their chairperson Khaleda Zia freed from jail.
The aspirants said they assured the board of staying away from infighting, and working together with a formidable spirit so that all the candidates of the ‘Sheaf of Paddy’, the BNP’s election symbol, can come out successful.