'The BNP is using propaganda to muddy the water before the polls'
The polling agents of out-of-parliament opposition, BNP, are concerned about possible intimidation allegedly posed by the ruling party, Awami League, during the upcoming Gazipur City Corporation election.
Meanwhile, polling agents of the ruling party deemed the BNP’s accusations baseless, adding that the election environment would remain as disciplined during voting as it was during campaigning.
BNP polling agent in Ward 27, Sabbir Hossain, told the Dhaka Tribune: “So far, we received no threats, but I am concerned about facing intimidation on the night just before the voting day.”
‘Who will we complain to?’
Member Secretary of the Election Management Committee for Ward 27, Alamgir Hossain said: “We are the ones who are managing the polling agents. If they [Awami League] manage to shut us down, BNP’s campaign activities will be severely disrupted.
“They are making announcements that we will not be allowed to install booths and distribute voting slips during polls.”
Polling agent in Ward 28, Roksana Akter said: “If we are kicked out of the polling centers during the election, who will we complain to? And will there be any action against the culprits?”
Election coordinator for Ward 27, and former unit president of the BNP, Abdur Rashid said: “On Friday night, plain-clothed policemen came to my neighborhood and inquired about my whereabouts from the locals. This kind of behavior has made me concerned.”
‘BNP is muddying the water’
Member of Awami League Election Management Committee in Ward 28, Ismail Hossain Sheikh said: “The BNP makes this sort of statement when an election approaches. Their concerns are completely out of touch with reality.
“The BNP is using propaganda to muddy the water before the polls.”
Polling agent of AL candidate for Ward 27, Komol Sarkar said that both the ruling party and the BNP are cooperating in the election area, and no problems have been reported in this ward thus far.
“The BNP is hanging posters, distributing leaflets and engaging in campaigning peacefully. There is nothing to worry about. Their concerns are baseless,” said Shipon, another polling agent.