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Dr Kamal: The upcoming polls may not be peaceful

  • Published at 08:07 pm December 16th, 2018
Jatiya Oikya Front-Dr Kamal Hossain
Jatiya Oikya Front chief Dr Kamal Hossain speaks at a press conference at the Oikya Front office on Sunday, December 16, 2018 Focus Bangla

The veteran politician went on to say the Jatiya Oikya Front would survive in the election race despite all odds

Jatiya Oikya Front chief Dr Kamal Hossain is apprehensive the next general election may not proceed peacefully as ruling party-sponsored attacks on the Front platform-endorsed candidates and their followers have increased.

“We fear the polls will not be allowed to proceed in a peaceful manner” he said, responding to a query at a press conference held at the Jatiya Oikya Front’s Purana Paltan office in Dhaka on Sunday.

The veteran politician went on to say the Jatiya Oikya Front would survive in the election race despite all odds.

On the issue of seeking permission from the president for a meeting, he said there was no green signal from Bangabhaban to this end as of the media briefing.

Dr Kamal, however, avoided replying to questions about why he had sought President Abdul Hamid’s permission for a meeting.

Citing rising attacks on Jatiya Oikya Front leaders and activists across the country recently, Kamal, also the president of Gono Forum, said such incidents are not being investigated.

“There is no justice for the victims as well,” he said, adding the attacks merited investigation.

Candidates of concerned parties are being physically assaulted and even shot, he maintained.

“If this continues, I wonder what will happen during voting,” he said, suspecting that vote rigging and attacks may occur on the day of the election slated for December 30.

Dr Kamal also told reporters they would unveil their election manifesto on Monday morning.

‘Attacks on rival candidates soaring’

Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) President ASM Abdur Rab said, besides arrests and cases, the number of attacks on opposition leaders and activists has soared.

“If a candidate is attacked, how can s/he contest the election?” said Rab, referring to attacks on the campaigns of Noakhali 1  BNP candidate Mahbub Uddin Khokon,  and Rumana Mahmud, wife of former BNP minister Iqbal Hasan Mahmud Tuku.

Expressing his resentment about the nationwide arrests and attacks on the Front’s leaders and activists, he said: “What will happen if we ask the people to resist such incidents? What will be the result if they respond to our call?”

He warned the ruling party saying: “We’ll not allow you to be in power forcibly.”

Accusing the ruling party of tearing and damaging opposition  posters, he said the slogan Joy Bangla is not meant for use in such criminal acts.

“It (Joy Bangla) has now turned into Khoy (decay) Bangla,” he observed, saying the government is using muscle power  in trying to make Jatiya Oikya Front quit the election race and to retain power.

“But we are ready to participate in the elections by any means,” he added.

Nagarik Oikya Convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna said the police, in some cases, are assisting Awami League and Chhatra League leaders to attack the platform’s candidates and supporters.

“The Election Commission is not even taking any measures in this regard,” he said.

Talking about Dr Kamal coming down hard on reporters last Friday after being questioned about his stance on Jamaat-e-Islami , Manna said the government and its loyal media outlets misinterpreted the incident.

BNP leaders Moazzem Hossain Alal and Abdul Awal Mintoo, among others, also addressed the briefing.