BNP asks Speaker for army in city polls

The BNP has turned to Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury with their demand for army deployment during the elections to the four city corporation after getting no response from the government or the Election Commission.

Opposition MP Jafrul Islam Chowdhury and acting Chief Whip of the Opposition Shahid Uddin Chowdhury Anee stood on a point of order in Parliament to make the demand on Thursday.

Government MPs say the BNP is making excuses since it is certain about the defeat of the candidates they are backing in the polls.

Anee said, “The voters are terrified in the four cities. Arms are being paraded there, criminals are showing the extent of their influences, police are inactive.”

He exhibited reports published by pro-Jamaat-e-Islami Daily Naya Diganta and Jugantor to say that criminal activities are underway in Barisal and Rajshahi.
“There is a quorum crisis in Parliament since minister and MPs are too busy exerting their influence,” claimed Anee.

He said, “We are contesting in the four city corporation polls for the sake of fair and free elections. We want to draw your (Speaker) attention to the matter of deploying the army immediately for the sake of fair elections. We hope you will create some pressure in this regard.”

Awami League Presidium member Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim responded to the opposition leaders saying: “The Election Commission is working independently. They (BNP) know they will lose so they are providing these excuses (Army deployment).”

“ (Anee) has provided examples from newspapers. A decision cannot be based on newspaper reports. Some newspapers have been making motivated reports to annoy the government.”

The BNP had raised the same demand before the polls to Comilla City Corporation. “They went silent once they won,” said Selim.

Awami League MP Fazle Rabbi Miah said, “No election styled like Magura (in 1996) was ever staged in the tenure of this government. The Election Commission is neutral. Let them do their work, let’s see what they do.”

The opposition-endorsed candidates have been demanding that the troops be deployed in the city corporation elections to Sylhet, Rajshahi, Khulna and Barisal scheduled for Saturday.

Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmed however thinks the army is not needed.

Source: Bd news24

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