BNP begins soul searching over DCC polls rout | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 07, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 07:33 AM, February 07, 2020

BNP begins soul searching over DCC polls rout

After its mayor candidates’ defeat in the February 1 city corporation elections, the BNP has launched an investigation to find out the reasons behind it. 

It is also collecting information on alleged irregularities during the voting and the absence of its polling agents on the election day.

The BNP will decide its next course of action based on the information, several senior party leaders told The Daily Star yesterday.

They said party high-ups had already held several meetings to assess the results. On Wednesday, they met the councillor candidates backed by the party to know their views on why their polling agents did not show up that day.

Senior BNP leaders will also hold meetings with the presidents and secretaries of its Dhaka city ward and thana units in this regard, they said.

“We have already sat with the councillor candidates. We are asking them to give all the data on polling irregularities along with relevant documents,” Tabith Awal, who lost the mayor election for the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), told The Daily Star.

He also said all the candidates were asked to write to the Election Commission seeking centre-wise results.  “I wrote to the EC but I am yet to get the results. All candidates have the right to get the results.”

Tabith said in the meetings they asked the councillor candidates about the reason why their polling agents did not show up and provide documents if anyone was driven out of the voting centres.

Based on the information and the documents, a committee, to be formed by the party, will analyse and list the reasons and send recommendations to the party’s acting chairman Tarique Rahman.

“If anyone is found guilty or there was any negligence of duty, action will be taken against them,” a senior party leader said.

The meeting on Wednesday, held at a hotel in the capital, was attended, among others, by top BNP leaders Mohammad Shahjahan and Barkatullah Bulu.

Talking to The Daily Star about the meeting, Sajedul Huq Khan Roni, a ward councillor candidate from Mohammadpur, said around 40 councillor candidates in DNCC areas expressed their opinions on the elections.

“Many of the councillor candidates said intra-party feud, intimidation by the ruling party men, the administration’s biasness and poor turnout were the reasons behind the BNP not doing well in the election,” he said.

Ishraque Hossain, BNP mayor candidate in the DSCC, said they would hold a daylong meeting with all the candidates to analyse the results.

Meanwhile, party sources said foreign diplomats in Dhaka had an idea about the roles of the government and the EC in the city polls. The BNP was collecting documents on election irregularities to place those before the diplomats, said the sources.

Ahead of the polls, BNP leaders and activists were seen on the field of campaign, but their presence in and out the polling centres was very thin on the polls day. BNP candidates even did not have any agents in many centres.

The party’s mayor candidates for the DNCC and the DSCC -- Tabith Awal and Ishraque Hossain -- lost to their rival from the ruling Awami League -- Atiqul Islam and Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh.

Later, the BNP rejected the polls results and demanded re-elections.

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