Accusing the government of desperately trying to manipulate Thursday’s upazila election results into its favour through vote fraud, BNP on Wednesday demanded army deployment by tonight (Wednesday night) in the vulnerable polling stations for ensuring fair balloting.
“Though there was a decision to deploy army in violence-prone areas, there’s no such move in sight so far. We urge the Election Commission to deploy army in the vulnerable areas and centres by tonight so that voters can cast their ballots in a congenial atmosphere without fear,” said BNP joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
He made the demand at a press briefing at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office in then evening.
The BNP leader alleged that the ruling party leaders and activists and local administration are harassing, attacking and intimidating the BNP-supported candidates, their agents, supporters at different parts of the country so that they don not go to the polling stations.
Mentioning the areas of ministers are the most vulnerable ones, Rizvi alleged that some ministers are encouraging their party cadres to resort to terrorist acts and they are trying to use the administration to intimidate the voters in a bid to manipulate the polls.
Giving a list of a vulnerable polling areas, including Keraniganj in Dhaka, Melandah upazila in Jamalpur, Feni Sadar, Barisal Sadar, Laksam in Comilla and Shibchar in Madaripur, he said the ruling party cadres in the areas established a reign of terror and asked the BNP supporters not to go to polling stations.
The Ejection Commission is set to hold elections to 117 upazila in the second phase on Thursday. The voting will start at 8am and continue until 4pm without any pause.
Earlier, on February 19, elections to 97 upazilas were held where the BNP-led 19-party-backed contenders won the elections in almost two-thirds upazilas.
Rizvi said, “The ruling party and the local administrations have hatched a deep-rooted conspiracy for doctoring the election results in their favour. We want to say it equivocally that the country’s people will go to the polling station braving all the obstacles, attacks and repression to elect their candidates. BNP leaders and activists will also be there at every polling centre to ensure their security and fair polls.”
He alleged that the Election Commission is not taking any action against ruling party men for breaching the election code of conduct despite lodging complaints with it. “We’re deeply worried over the Election Commission’s partisan activities and role.”
Source: UNB Connect