BNP yesterday turned down the Election Commission's (EC) decision to use electronic voting machines (EVM) in the upcoming national election, saying that such machines can easily be manipulated.
“The Election Commission, in which we have no confidence, will manipulate the EVMs. We reject their decision of introducing EVMs in the national election,” said BNP senior leader Moudud Ahmed.
Speaking at a discussion, he also said BNP which “represents most people of the country” will not accept the use of EVMs in the polls.
Youth Forum, a pro-BNP platform, arranged the discussion at the Jatiya Press Club, demanding BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia's release from jail.
Earlier on Thursday, the EC at a meeting decided to send a proposal to the government for amending the electoral law to pave the way for use of EVMs in the upcoming general election.
Moudud, a BNP standing committee member, alleged that the government is behind EC's decision.
“I think there's a big conspiracy behind the move to use the machines just three months ahead of the parliamentary polls. The government is directly involved with the plot,” he said.
Referring to the Bangladesh Banks reserve heist, the BNP leader wondered how people can have confidence in the electronic voting system in a country where the central bank's reserve was plundered through hacking.
Moudud said many countries, including Germany, Italy and Ireland, discarded the use of EVMs in their polls. “Even 73 percent people in India opined against the use of EVM.”
He said the move to procure EVMs was taken to indulge in corruption and misuse public money.
The BNP leader said the government is now trying to rely on machines instead of people, as people's minds cannot be manipulated as easily.
About the efforts of Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh President AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury and Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain to forge a national unity, Moudud said it will be successful as people want a united effort against the current government.
Earlier, at a press conference at BNP's Nayapaltan central office, the party's Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi also opposed the EC's decision, describing EVMs as “magic boxes of vote rigging”.
“We think the unilateral decision of using EVMs was taken as part of a master plan to rig votes in the next parliamentary polls,” he observed.