Jatiya Oikyafront senior leaders on Sunday accused the ruling Awami League of committing an act of ‘treason’ by indulging in ‘vote robbery’ on December 29, the night before the 11th parliamentary election last year.
Speaking at a demonstration programme, they urged the ruling party to take steps for holding a fresh election annulling the December-30 one to establish a representative and elected government.
As per its declared programme, the Oikyafront leaders and activists staged the demonstration in front of the Jatiya Press Club, registering their protest against the last general election on the eve of its first anniversary.
“They (AL) stole votes across Bangladesh. We the country’s 16 crore people must get united to catch those robbers. “Vote robbery is an act of treason, and an anti-constitutional act,” said Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) president ASM Abur Rob.
He called upon lawyers to file a case against the ruling party on charge of treason for indulging in ‘vote robbery’ on December 29 last year. “Identify the vote robbers and tell people to catch them whenever they will find them.”
Rob said a united movement is necessary to restore people’s voting rights and establish a pro-Liberation War government by ousting the current one from power.
He also said the ruling party leaders have no sense of shame as they are loudly saying they were elected with people’s votes after ‘depriving’ people of their voting rights.
Oikyafront convener Dr Kamal Hossain was scheduled to be present at the programme, but he could not join it due to his illness.
Speaking at the programme, BNP standing committee member Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan said their alliance turned down the 11th parliamentary election as the ruling party ‘rigged’ votes by ‘stuffing ballots’ on the night of December 29. “No-one has the right to govern the country without being elected by people. “
He said their alliance is doing politics not to go to power but to ‘restore’ the rights of people, democracy, and freedom of expression, and ensure economic emancipation. “People are the real owners of the country and they’re the sources of power.”
Dr Moyeen said Jatiya Oikyafront will surely empower people by bringing their ownership of the country back.
He also called upon the people of all walks of life to get united to force the government to hold a credible fresh election to ensure the transfer of power through a democratic way and thus establish a representative administration.
Nagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna said Awami League has ‘usurped’ power by ‘rigging’ votes on the night of December 29.
He said December 29 last year is the most stigmatised day in the history of Bangladesh’s election. “Such a big vote rigging never happened anywhere in the world in the past as the election was held the night before the voting day.”
Manna said the government must step down by cancelling the election and dissolving the parliament. “We must wage a movement to force the government to quit.”
He said their alliance will come up with programmes of a greater movement in the days to come against the government’s ‘repressive’ acts.
Gonoforum executive president Professor Abu Sayeed, BNP chairperson’s adviser Abdus Salam, JSD vice president Tania Rob and Gonoshasthya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury, among others, spoke at the programme.
After a rally, the Oikyafront leaders and activists brought out a procession, but police obstructed them near the Kadam Fountain intersection in front of the Jatiya Press Club.