12:00 AM, December 22, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 08:15 AM, December 22, 2018

'EC, police ruined polls atmosphere'

Fakhrul alleges state organs being used against BNP

The Election Commission, judiciary and police have joined hands to destroy the country's democracy, the BNP alleged yesterday.

“We are noticing that the EC and police have formed an alliance and destroyed the election atmosphere. We are worried over their role,” BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told a press conference at Khaleda Zia's Gulshan office yesterday.

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The partisan role of the EC and law enforcement agencies has already turned the upcoming election into a farce, he said.

“The Awami League is using the state organs to cancel the candidacy of our leaders.”

Fakhrul alleged that the High Court was barring the BNP candidates from participating in the polls on purpose.

“How should we define the court orders? Are these orders legal, illegal or deliberate? The same court is declaring one candidate [of one party] legal and another [from another party] illegal on the same grounds.”

He then alleged that the court was interfering in BNP's internal matters.

“The court is dictating us who to give party nomination. Does it prove that we are getting justice from the court?”

Stating that a total of 154 AL leaders became uncontested lawmakers in 2014, he said the ruling party has not been able to pull a similar stunt this time. As a result, they are cancelling the BNP nominees' candidacy through using state organs.

He said 15 BNP candidates have been imprisoned while the fate of 25 other candidates is hanging in the balance.

He demanded that the EC halt the election in the constituencies where the BNP nominees' candidacy got cancelled.

“We heard that the ballot boxes would be stuffed the night before the election. We heard that some groups of the law enforcers have been formed to execute the plan.”

Responding to the prime minister's statement that the BNP and Jamaat were printing fake ballot papers, Fakhrul said the prime minister was spreading rumours and urged the EC to take action against her.

 

MOTORCADE INTERCEPTED

Meanwhile, the cars of Fakhrul and four other Jatiya Oikyafront leaders were intercepted when they were going to Sonakanda area of Narayanganj's Bandar upazila to address a rally, reports our correspondent in the district.

The cars of Fakhrul, Mahmudur Rahman Manna, Zafrullah Chowdhury and several other leaders were stopped at Madanpur intersection of Narayanganj allegedly by a group of AL men around 3:30pm, witnesses said.

The incident stopped traffic on Dhaka-Chittagong highway for about half an hour.

“Tyres and bamboos were set on fire and placed on the road,” Sayrul Kabir Khan, a staff of BNP chief Khaleda Zia's media wing, told The Daily Star.

Administration officials then helped the cars continue the journey through a different route.

Contacted, Mominul Islam, additional superintendent of police in Naryanganj, said police were investigating the incident.

VOTE FOR KHALEDA'S RELEASE

At the rally, Fakhrul urged people to vote.

“Your vote will ensure Khaleda Zia's release. Keeping that in mind, go to the polling centre along with your neighbours to cast your vote early in the morning on December 30. We will not give in.... that day.”

He also urged voters not to leave the polling centres before the counting ends.

“They [the AL] are expert on stealing votes. We have heard that the ballot boxes would be stuffed the night before the election. You have to guard the polling stations the night before the election.”

He then called on the law enforcers and administration officials to work neutrally.

Terming the EC a helpless body, he said, “I want to say to the Election Commission, 'Carry out the responsibility that the constitution and the state gave to you. Step in to hold a free and fair election or step down.'”

At the rally, Oikyafront leaders introduced their nominees SM Akram for Narayanganj-5, Nazrul islam Azad for Narayanganj-2 and Monir Hossain for Narayanganj-4 and urged people to vote for them.


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