Bangladesh Hindu Bouddha Christian Oikya Parishad yesterday once again urged political parties not to give nomination in the upcoming national election to anyone who had been involved in repression of minority communities.
“If any such candidate is nominated for the election, minority communities of that constituency will refrain from casting their votes,” said Advocate Rana Dasgupta, general secretary of the Oikya Parishad.
He made the comment at a press conference organised by the Oikya Parishad at Jatiya Press Club.
Earlier, from a rally in September, leaders of the Oikya Parishad made similar calls to political parties of the country.
Reading out a written statement, Rana Dasgupta said with a few exceptions, all the elections held after 1990 were disastrous for the minority communities.
“Although it [the national elections] brings in festivities for some people, the election becomes a cause of anxiety for the minority community,” he said.
Referring to experiences in past years, he said though the Election Commission assured the minority communities of providing security ahead of the polls, it had never kept the promise. “We hope this time there will be an exception,” Rana Dasgupta added.
He also called upon political parties to make specific commitments in their manifestos to eradicate discrimination and establish equal rights and dignity of the minority.
The Oikya Parishad leaders in their speech urged all political parties to ensure empowerment of the minority and their representation in the parliament according to their demographic ratio in a constituency.
In order to gather information on repression of the minority during the election, the Oikya Parishad has opened a helpline -- 9612100300.
Among others, Nim Chandra Bhowmik, presidium member of the Parishad, spoke at the programme.