Menon makes a U-turn!

The Daily Star  October 21, 2019

Menon makes a U-turn!

Backtracks from comments on people not being able to vote in last polls

Staff Correspondent

Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon yesterday said his Saturday’s remarks on people not being able to vote in the last polls have sent a wrong message to the national and 14-party alliance politics.

“This confusion arose for presenting my remarks partially,” he claimed in a statement yesterday.

“I want to say clearly that the elections till date are the outcome of struggles of the 14-party alliance and the government was constituted through the struggles of 14-party,” Menon said.

“This struggle will have to be taken forward to face the emergence of fundamentalism and sectarianism,” he added in the statement.

The leaders and activists of 14-party alliance, especially of ruling Awami League, took to the social media against Menon after he during a party programme in Barishal alleged that people could not vote in December 30, 2018 national election.

“Although I was elected in the polls, I am testifying that people couldn’t cast their votes in that election. They couldn’t vote in the union parishad and upazila parishad polls,” he said on Saturday.

Responding to Menon’s Saturday’s claim, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader yesterday questioned whether Menon would have made such claim had he been a minister.

“We need to find out what he said in this regard and whether he was misquoted… If he had made such remarks, then my question is why did he do so after so many days?” Quader said.

In yesterday’s statement, Menon further said, “When I was addressing on the president’s speech in the parliament, I lauded that the 11th parliamentary election was held in a successful manner. But the experience was not pleasant.”

Menon said in his speech he also mentioned that mismanagement, irregularities and misuse of power continued during Zia-Ershad-BNP-Jamaat regimes. He claimed that he had been a witness to those as an election candidate.

‘I’M HAPPY HE SAID IT’

Meanwhile, Jatiya Oikyafront Convener Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday thanked Menon for, what he said, confirming that people could not cast their votes in the national election, reports UNB.

“I’m happy he [Menon] said it, even if it’s late. I’ve long been saying it [people could not cast their votes],” Dr Kamal said while talking to reporters after a meeting of Oikyafront’s steering committee at his Motijheel chamber.

He added, “Wherever I go, I ask people whether they were able to vote on December 30. I still didn’t get a single positive response, and he [Menon] has now confirmed it. That’s why I would like to thank him.”

‘A STATE APPROVER’

Meanwhile, BNP yesterday said Menon like a “state approver” admitted the fact that the current government is “illegal as no election was held on December 30”.

Speaking at a press conference at the party’s Nayapaltan central office, party Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi also said the government should step down and dissolve the parliament if it has “minimum sense of shame” after its alliance partner admitted that people could not cast votes in the general election.

“The truth was somehow revealed. A partner of the government himself admitted the fact that no election was held on December 30,” he said.

The BNP leader said, “People are sometimes forced to reveal the truth due to their conscience. We don’t know his [Menon’s] objectives and goals, but he as a state approver admitted there had been vote robberies on the night of election.”

Rizvi hoped the ruling party leaders will also reveal “the truth” someday like Menon.

He also criticised Jagannath University Vice Chancellor Prof Mijanur Rahman for expressing his desire to take the charge of Jubo League, saying he has stigmatised his current prestigious post.

The BNP leader alleged that the government is now appointing its party activists as VCs, ignoring renowned educationists.

Rizvi further alleged that a group of people are posting false and fabricated information by opening a fake Facebook account in the name of BNP Acting Chairman Tarique Rahman. “It’s part of a plot,” he added.

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