'Awami League is continuing to rig votes at the highest levels'
The ruling Awami League and BNP continued to trade barbs over the Gazipur City Corporation election on Tuesday. While Awami League claimed the election had been held fairly, BNP alleged that the Election Commission was unable to work independently as he had been influenced by the government.
BNP: EC works as per a blueprint prepared by the government
At a press briefing at BNP’s central office in Naya Paltan, BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said: “The Election Commission (EC) worked as per a blueprint prepared by the government. The Gazipur City Corporation election was held the way the government wanted. Irregularities have been reported at more than a hundred polling centres, while many BNP agents were beaten up and driven out.”
He went on to claim that even though the chief election commissioner said the election would be different from that of the Khulna city corporation, it seemed to have so far, followed the same pattern.
AL: BNP is raising false allegations
Meanwhile at a press briefing at the Awami League president’s political office in Dhanmondi, party Joint General Secretary Jahangir Kabir Nanak claimed the BNP was deliberately making false allegations to make both the government and election look dubious.
He said: “The election was fair, but the BNP is trying to make the election seem questionable once again.
“There was no development work done during the tenure of the previous BNP-backed mayor, so people are spontaneously voting for the Awami League.”
He further claimed that the BNP was raising false allegations in order to mask its own internal conflicts.
BNP candidate Hasan: Stop the election
In a press briefing at the BNP district office, the party’s mayoral candidate for the Gazipur City Corporation (GCC) election, Hasan Uddin Sarker, demanded that the ongoing city polls be cancelled.
However, he added that he would participate in the election till the very end if it was still held. “I will continue till the end. I will show the people the irregularities that are going on, and unmask the government’s undemocratic attitude towards the polls.”
He also said he would submit a written complaint to the returning officer regarding alleged ballot stuffing at 450 booths in 67 polling centres.
Hasan claimed that more than a hundred of his supporters and polling agents were beaten up and forced to leave the centres, and many of them were arrested.
“Awami League is continuing to rig votes at the highest levels,” he alleged. “There is no one to stop their musclemen.”
He further claimed that the ruling party was using the local administration and law enforcers to ensure victory for their candidate.