BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Tuesday said the Election Commission’s (EC's) failure to take action against an errant ruling party MP in Cumilla city polls has proved that fair and acceptable national election is not possible without a non-party neutral government.
“You have seen what happened in the Cumilla city election. The Election Commissioner has failed to force an MP to leave the electoral areas in Cumilla ahead of the election. So, it has proved that no credible election is possible without a polls-time neutral government,” he said.
The BNP leader also said if the EC could take action against the ruling party MP for flouting its order to leave the election area, it would have sent out a message about how the future election will be held in Bangladesh.
“The Election Commission has manifested its helplessness through its inaction against the ruling party MP in Cumilla polls,” Fakhrul observed.
He came up with the comments while talking to reporters at a views-exchange meeting with the leaders and activists of Mohila Dal at district unit BNP’s meeting.
Earlier on June 8, the EC ordered local Awami League President AKM Bahauddin Bahar MP to leave electoral areas under Cumilla City Corporation for allegedly violating the electoral code of conduct ahead of the polls.
However, Bahar, a ruling party MP from Cumilla-6 seat, did not comply with the EC’s order. The elections to Cumilla City Corporation will be held on Wednesday using the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
Fakhrul questioned how the EC will conduct fair elections in the future when it has no capacity to force an MP to comply with its order.
“We’ve earlier said whoever comes to the Election Commission will not be able to do anything without a neutral government. It has now been proved that our observation is justified.”
Referring to the deadly fire in the container depot in Chattogram’s Sitakunda, the BNP leader asked the government to find out those responsible for the incident and take stern action against them.
He also slammed the ruling party leaders for their comments that BNP is doing politics with Khaleda Zia’s illness, and said Awami League leaders are used to making unguarded comments about their political opponents.
Replying to a question about whether Khaleda would join Padma Bridge opening programme responding to the government’s invitation, Fakhrul said there is no reason for the BNP chief to go there when she was threatened with being pushed into the river from the bridge.
He claimed that the initial feasibility study on the Padma Bridge started during Khaleda Zia's tenure in 2004-05 following discussions with Japan, the World Bank and the Asia Development Bank for the construction of the bridge.