BNP’s defeated mayoral candidate for the recently held Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) polls Ishraque Hossain on Sunday alleged that their party’s all leaders did not sincerely work to ensure the victory of the party candidates.
Speaking at a views-exchange meeting of the party’s DSCC mayoral and councillor candidates and senior leaders at Ananda Community Centre at Nayapaltan, he also alleged that party leaders and workers were not organised during the election.
“The local BNP leaders tried to remain in the field on the voting day, but they’re not organised. It can’t be acceptable that someone will take risks while some others will sleep. We won’t succeed in this way,” Ishraque observed.
BNP standing committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Mirza Abbas, Iqbal Hasan Mahmud Tuku and some other party senior leaders were present at the programme.
The elections to DSCC and Dhaka North City Corporations (DNCC) were held on February 1 where BNP’s two mayoral candidates were defeated to the ruling party ones.
Ishraque said he visited many voting centres after casting his vote on February 1, and found a big difference in the attitude and sincerity of party leaders about the election.
“In some areas, I saw the councillor candidates made their frantic efforts to ensure victory by taking the risk of their lives. I also didn’t find the councillor candidates in some other areas, and our local leaders and activists weren’t made organised,” he said sharing his experience about the election.
The BNP mayoral candidate also urged the local leaders and activists to inform the party senior leaders about who played what role on the voting day.
He said the party’s weakness in the Dhaka city polls should be discussed so that it can take steps to come out of those in the days to come.
Ishraque said neither their party chairperson Khaleda Zia can be freed nor democracy can be ‘restored’ unless their party can strengthen its ongoing movement by organising the party rank and file.
Speaking at the programme, Khandaker Mosharraf, the convener of party’s DSCC election steering committee, said not more than 7-8 percent people went to cast their votes in the city polls. “But the voter turnout was shown 29 percent in DSCC and 25 percent in DNCC polls by rigging votes through EVMs.”
He said the elections to two Dhaka city corporations have proved that electronic voting machines (EVMs) are not an acceptable voting system.
The BNP leader claimed that voters showed their lack of confidence in the country’s voting system and the government by not going to cast their votes. “It’s an ominous sign for the nation.”
He said Khaleda Zia has been kept in jail by convicting her in ‘false’ cases so that she cannot raise her voice in favour of democracy and make efforts for its restoration.
Mosharraf said their party’s councillor candidates took a vow at their meeting to make the party well-organised and stronger at all wards and thanas to free Khaleda Zia through a strong movement.
Mirza Abbas said their party leaders and activists should have played stronger and more courageous role in the recently held city polls.
He claimed that their many councillor candidates were defeated through vote rigging. “Our candidate Ishraque is the mayor of people and our councillor candidates are the councillors of people.”
The BNP leader urged the party leaders and activists to strength the party getting united to have Khaleda freed from jail.