AL to face debacle if polls are fair
BNP chief Khaleda Zia has said the Awami League is spreading propaganda in the name of an election “survey”.
She also said the ruling party will face a catastrophic defeat in the municipal polls, provided the elections are free and fair.
”Conducting a false election survey [by AL] will be of no use. I know the actual findings of that survey. It indicates their [AL's] debacle,” she said, alleging that the “false campaign” aims at covering up government corruption.
Khaleda was addressing a biannual council of the pro-BNP faction of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists at the Supreme Court Bar Association auditorium in the capital yesterday.
On December 20, the ruling party assessed that AL-nominated mayor aspirants were ahead in around 200 municipalities out of the 234 going to polls on December 30. Sources said the AL central organising secretaries presented the data on party's overall progress before the central leaders at a meeting.
The BNP chief yesterday claimed that her party would secure 80 percent of the total votes in the upcoming polls.
She urged the voters to exercise their franchise in a festive mood on that day. ”People are waiting to cast their votes in favour of BNP's electoral symbol sheaf of paddy,” she said.
Khaleda alleged that the government had prepared evil designs to prevent the BNP from joining the local polls.
“But they [the government] made a big mistake by arranging polls on the party lines. Joining the elections, the BNP has proved that it's a party that favours elections and believes in a fair and participatory poll,” she said.
Pointing to the recent media reports that journalists will not be allowed to stay inside the polling stations during the voting, she said the main objective of the move was “transparent”.
“Journalist will come under restrictions so that vote rigging could go on. Journalists must have access to the polling stations.”
She requested the media to present the real scenario inside the centres to the people on voting day.
Khaleda urged the local administration to play a neutral role without any fear.
She also called upon the government to immediately release all arrested journalists and reopen all the media outlets that have been closed.
Lambasting the government for enacting the national broadcast policy and its move to introduce online registration for online news portals, Khaleda also blamed the administration for shutting down the media outlets for “writing against government misdeeds”.
KHALEDA'S FB POST
In a Facebook video post, Khaleda Zia yesterday asked people to cast their votes for the BNP in the upcoming municipal elections.
A 38-second video was uploaded on the BNP's official Facebook page in the early hours of yesterday and will be there until the election campaign ends at 12:00 midnight on Monday, Emran Saleh Prince, an assistant publicity secretary of the party, told The Daily Star.
Clad in a green sari and with some “sheaf of padding” on the left side of her table, Khaleda asked people to vote for her party candidates for “protecting democracy”.
KHALEDA'S EMERGENY BRIEFING
The BNP chief will hold an emergency press briefing this afternoon at her Gulshan office, the party said in a press release yesterday.
Party insiders say Khaleda for the last time will reiterate her call to the voters to vote for BNP-backed aspirants as the campaign ends at midnight.
The BNP chief is likely to explain the reasons behind her party decision to join the municipality polls, added the insiders.