Pro-AL officials making election engineering plan: BNP
High officials of the civil administration and the police force are holding clandestine meetings to devise strategies to ensure victory of Awami League candidates in coming elections at any cost, opposition BNP alleged on Saturday.
The officials, the party said, held such a meeting on 20 November and decided to put pressure on the BNP and the Jatiya Oikya Front by means of mass arrest and abduction so that they are compelled to stay away from the electoral race.
BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi came up with the allegations at a press briefing at the party’s Naya Paltan central office.
The BNP leader mentioned that some high officials held a secret meeting in a room of Officers’ Club, Dhaka, beginning at 8:30pm on 20 November and discussed for two and a half hours the ways and means to manipulate the elections.
The public servants holding key positions in the government made an election engineering plan there, Rizvi claimed.
He named the prime minister’s office secretary Sajjadul Hassan, public administration ministry secretary Foyez Ahmed, election commission secretary Helaluddin Ahmed, water resource ministry secretary (former director general of prime minister’s office) Kabir Bin Anwar, civil aviation and tourism ministry secretary Mohibul Haque, divisional commissioner and Dhaka returning officer Ali Azam, the prime minister’s assistant personal secretary (APS)-1 Kazi Nishat Rasul, as officials who were present there.
High officials of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), Dhaka Metropolitan Police and the counter terrorism unit were also present at the meeting, according to the BNP leader.
The AL would win a maximum of 33 seats in a normal election game, Rizvi referred to a meeting source that quoted deputy inspector general (DIG) of police Habibur Rahman, as telling the meeting, based on field level reports.
Quoting the police official, the BNP leader added, the AL candidates would compete in another 60-65 constituencies but may not come out as winners.
The ruling party does not have any chance of winning any more seat in case there is a fair election, Habib was quotd to have said. “Unless something serious can be done, the Awami League will not able to win the election,” Rizvi quoted the police official to have said, as narrated by a source.
Against this backdrop, the BNP leader alleged, the officials at the meeting decided to continue ruthless operations to catch the BNP leaders and activists, and kill or abduct them if needed, so that they are not in a position to compete in the elections.
The BNP leader cited the example of killing of Jashore BNP vice president and nomination aspirant Abu Bakr and said the officials started acting as per their design.
The BNP leader claimed that the meeting observed that if the opposition coalition of Jatiya Oikya Front still does not back down from the electoral race despite oppression and intimidation, the law enforcers will launch a massive arrest spree to thwart them from electioneering.
If it is not possible to stop the popular wave of sheaf of paddy, the elction symbol of the BNP, the candidates of the AL’s boat symbol would be declared victorious by means of the ‘media coup’, Rizvi said referring to the discussion at the meeting.
The BNP leader, quoted meeting sources, added that the ‘dictated results’ will be announcced by the state-run Bangladesh Television and other channels will broadcast the BTV’s results.
Instead of taking into cognisance the Oikya Front’s allegations about the government officials’ role in favour of the AL, the EC is turning deaf ear and in many cases even working to implement the AL’s agenda, claimed Rizvi.
The BNP reiterated the demand for withdrawal of ‘biased’ civil servants and police officials immediately to create a level-playing field before the general elections.