BNP yesterday alleged that “pro-Awami League” officials have been given the responsibility for conducting the elections to two Dhaka city corporations, billed for January 30.
“We know those having pro-AL backgrounds have been given the responsibility for holding elections to the two city corporations,” said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
Speaking at a programme at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office, he further said, “Those who lack ethical values have been given charges to conduct voting through EVMs. Most countries have already rejected the machines as these can be manipulated.”
Bangladesh Jatiyatabadi Help Cell arranged the programme to provide financial assistance to family members of the party’s 10 leaders who were either subjected to enforced disappearance, killing or maiming allegedly by law enforcers and ruling party “cadres”.
The BNP leader said their party is against the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the city polls, as it thinks people’s verdict will not be reflected if the voting is held with the machines.
About Monday’s by-polls to Chattogram-8 constituency, he said voters were not allowed to go to polling stations, as ruling party supporters exploded crude bombs and attacked people with sticks.
“Many people may say we couldn’t prevent such acts. How would common people tackle hooligans and those who resort to terrorism? This is the reality. Common voters don’t engage in violence, and they want to cast their votes, but they aren’t allowed to do so,” Fakhrul observed.
The BNP leader, however, urged their party people not to get frustrated. “Never give up, no matter how much suffering and repression you are going through. People of the country will stand up and put up a resistance, as they did repeatedly in the past.”
The BNP leader became emotional, pointing at the children present at the programme whose fathers have remained missing for a long time. “These children always think their fathers will return; mothers wait to get their children back and wives wait to get their beloved husbands back. This is an unbearable and suffocating situation.”
Fakhrul also voiced concern over the growing incidents of killing, rape and road accidents.
The BNP leader said the ruling party has created such an appalling situation in the country that even the journalists are now imposing self-censorship to avoid the government’s wrath.