Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud today said BNP has been enjoying extra-advantage in the campaign for the upcoming mayoral elections, as law did not bar their top leaders to seek votes unlike those of the ruling Awami League.
“As per the electoral code of conduct, ministers and MPs cannot take part in the election campaign. BNP remains in an advantageous position in this regard,” he told a media briefing at his ministry’s conference room.
Hasan said in most other parliamentary democracies including India and the UK, ministers and lawmakers could take part in election campaign without using the government facilities, “but in Bangladesh, it is not possible”.
“So under current circumstances, they are in a much better position than Awami League,” he said, rejecting BNP’s allegations about the absence of a level-playing field.
Hasan said BNP was out to make the city polls appear questionable as they have tried to do so in other polls after realising “the countrymen are not with them”.
The minister briefed the media after attending a views-exchange meeting with newly elected executive committee members of Bangladesh Film Producer Distributor Association (BFPDA).
Information Secretary Kamrun Nahar, BFPDA President Khorshed Alam and General Secretary Shamsul Alam, among others, were present in the meeting.
Replying to a query on the long-awaited judgment in the sensational Chattogram mass-killing case in 1988, Hasan, also joint general secretary of Awami League, expressed his satisfaction over the verdict.
Hasan also demanded to bring the kingpins to book who gave order from Dhaka to attack on the mass rally of Awami League President and incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who was proceeding with a motorcade procession to attend a grand rally at Lal Dighi Maidan of Chattogram on January 24, 1988.
The Minister also expressed his satisfaction over the verdict in a case lodged over murder of five people in bomb attack at a rally of Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) in the capital in 2001.
About the court order on granting anticipatory bail to Bangla daily Prothom Alo Editor Matiur Rahman in a case lodged over the death of student Naimul Abrar Rahat, the minister said it has been proven that the court and the law are working independently.
While addressing the views-exchange meeting, Hasan urged the film producers to play their role in shaping the minds of younger generation and middle class families with positive and pro-active outlook.
The minister said many cinema halls across the country were closed as the mass people stopped going to cinema halls.