Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged all to make sure that parliamentary polls were not questionable in any way.
“All the people will have to watch out so that no one can make the elections questionable in any way. The candidates, leaders and workers of the Awami League and Mohajote [grand alliance] will have to keep patience in this regard,” she said.
The PM was talking to journalists after visiting injured Dinajpur AL leader Mahbubur Rahman at Combined Military Hospital, Dhaka.
Mahbubur was injured in an attack allegedly from BNP-Jamaat men.
Hasina, also the AL president, asked the party representatives and candidates' agents to stay in every polling centre until the announcement of the results.
“I would like to tell all who are contesting the elections from our party and alliance to stay at the polling centres till the last moment of voting and return home with results sheets signed by returning officers and presiding officers.”
She expressed firm optimism that today's election would be held in a free, fair and peaceful manner.
“If people cast votes for us, we will stay in power, or else we won't. I'm leaving it to the people.”
She said local and foreign investments would increase further and the country's economy would be strengthened if the elections were held peacefully.
The PM cautioned people, including her party candidates, against possible election boycott by the opposition halfway through the voting as part of a trick and advised them to stay at the centers until the polls ended.
“I would like to tell all not to believe if the BNP says halfway through the voting that we withdraw ourselves from the election and we will not participate in it... this is their another game.”
Hasina blasted BNP-Jamaat for “killing six Awami League leaders and workers and injuring more than 450 party men”. “On the one hand, they're making complaints against us across the world, and on the other hand, they're launching attacks on our leaders and workers.”
About the BNP's allegations regarding a level-playing field, the premier said the party's level playing field means that it would have to be made winners.
She said the BNP created its own problems by giving nominations to 4/5 candidates in a single seat. “They did nomination business and distributed seats among candidates through auctions, saying that those who would be able to pay highest amount of money would become candidates.”
The premier said many candidates having good reputation in their respective areas couldn't get BNP's nominations. “As a result, they became aggrieved and they got involved in internal clashes.”
Hasina said nominees could not go to their constituencies due to opposition from those deprived of party tickets. “They are getting involved in clashes, setting fire to their own offices and then putting the blame on our party.”
She said had the BNP not done the nomination business, it would not have faced this problem.
Describing the attack on AL leader Mahbubur very regretful, the PM asked the law enforcement agencies to identify the culprits involved in the attack and ensure punishment for them.
Chief of Army Staff General Aziz Ahmed, PM's Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman and PMO Secretary Sajjadul Hassan were present.