Mirza Fakhrul was confident BNP would win the Gazipur city polls if it is held in a free and fair manner
The ruling party is using the police instead of its own party leaders and activists to conduct electoral activities during the Gazipur City Corporation election, alleges BNP.
“Awami League is not using its party members,” said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Sunday.
“In Gazipur, they are using the superintendent of police and Detective Branch officials to work in favour of their party candidate.”
While addressing a press conference in the BNP chairperson’s office in Gulshan, Fakhrul also claimed detective branch officials have been raiding BNP party activists’ houses and taking them into custody under old cases right before the upcoming Gazipur city polls.
“They are threatening our activists to ensure the election is dominated by the ruling party,” said Fakhrul. “The Gazipur City Corporation election is being held under police jurisdiction.”
Until now, 203 BNP members and activists have been arrested and driven to nearby areas such as Tangail, Ashulia and Dhaka to keep them away from the polling area, alleged Fakhrul.
On May 6, BNP Vice-Chairman Abdullah Al Noman was detained from Gazipur while campaigning for their candidate. He was later released.
On June 20, police detained 19 BNP members assigned at the polling centres, and they are yet to be released, claimed the secretary general.
“But Awami League candidate Jahangir Alam was seen carrying out his campaign riding in a police car,” said Mirza Fakhrul. “This indicates that the police, which run upon government instructions, are controlling the election.”
Fakhrul said his party had previously requested the Election Commission (EC) to withdraw the Gazipur Superintendent of Police (SP) Harun-ur-Rashid from duty, as he was working directly for Awami League.
“His withdrawal is necessary for a fair election,” he said.
He added that the EC had not paid heed to BNP’s request.
‘Only way to reach the masses’
When asked why BNP is contesting in the Gazipur city polls despite the irregularities observed during the Khulna City Corporation election, Fakhrul said participation in the city polls is part of a democratic process.
“This is the only way we will be able to reach the masses,” said the secretary general. “We are using this opportunity, since the government does not allow us to get close to the people of this country.”
Mirza Fakhrul was confident BNP would win the Gazipur city polls if it is held in a free and fair manner.
However, he claimed his party had received information from their sources that the polling centres with a high concentration of voters will be the target of illegal activties on the night before the election.
“They (Awami League) are kicking neutral people out from the polling centres,” said Fakhrul.
But BNP will post three to four agents in every single poll centres during the election, only if the government allows them, he added.
Meanwhile, the party sent a delegation to the EC requesting the withdrawal of Gazipur SP Harun-ur-Rashid yet again.