Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda has held a meeting with the superintendent of police (SP) of Gazipur and the deputy inspector general (DIG) of Dhaka range, without the knowledge of four election commissioners.
Talking to The Daily Star, the CEC said they discussed the overall law and order situation in Gazipur and voting atmosphere. “I called them and talked about the law and order situation and strategy during Gazipur city election,” he said.
The meeting with SP Harun-ur-Rashid and DIG Abdullah Al Mamun took place at Nirbachan Bhaban on June 12, and the EC secretary was present there.
The Daily Star spoke with the election commissioners, and they said they were not aware of the meeting.
Election Commissioner Md Rafiqul Islam said, “I don't know about the meeting. The CEC can hold any meeting with anyone. But I am not aware of it.”
Another commissioner, Kabita Khanam, also expressed the same view, saying she was also unaware about the meeting.
The Daily Star called up Election Commission Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed several times, but he did not pick up the phone.
Contacted, DIG Abdullah Al Mamun said, “We held a discussion.” He, however, declined to say anything further and advised this correspondent to talk to the commission.
He said the EC secretary was present at the meeting.
Gazipur SP Harun-ur-Rashid, however, said the meeting was informal, and there was no official discussion. “We talked to the Election Commission secretary, and we did not hold any official meeting with the CEC,” he said.
The Gazipur City Corporation polls will be held on June 26. Campaign starts on June 18.
Earlier, the election was scheduled for June 15, but the High Court stayed the polls on May 6 for three months following a writ petition challenging the inclusion of six mouzas of a union in the city and the election schedule.
However, a four-member bench of Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain removed the bar on the election on May 10, following petitions filed by the EC and mayoral candidates of the Awami League and BNP.
On May 3, a BNP delegation met the CEC and urged the Election Commission to immediately withdraw Gazipur SP Harun for creating a level-playing field, claiming that the police officer was working in favour of the ruling Awami League candidate.