Tabith Awal and Ishraque Hossain allege violation of electoral code of conduct and intimidation, respectively
The BNP mayoral candidates in the elections to Dhaka north and south city corporations on Saturday lodged written complaints to the respective returning officers about the harassment of councillor aspirants and violation of the electoral code of conduct.
Both returning officers, in return, assured the BNP candidates of taking lawful actions after examining their complaints.
BNP's mayoral candidate Ishraque Hossain on Saturday alleged the lack of a level-playing field for the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) election, slated for January 30, due to continuous threats by government-backed candidates.
Citing his allegations, Ishraque submitted a written complaint to DSCC Returning Officer Abdul Baten at his office at the Sadeque Hossain Khoka Community Centre at Gopibagh in the afternoon.
On Thursday, BNP’s Bangshal unit President Tajuddin Ahmed Taju, also the party’s councillor candidate in DSCC’s Ward No 32, was arrested in an arson case filed against him in 2015.
Ishraque said: “When the BNP candidate submitted his nomination papers, the affidavits already mentioned the cases against him. No objection was raised or no warrant was shown to him. However, he was later illegally detained from a hotel and then shown arrested by police after his nomination was declared valid.”
“We did complain verbally on Friday and have submitted the written complaint on Sunday.
The returning officer assured us of taking necessary actions for holding a fair election.”
He said that they have urged the Election Commission to instruct the police not to issue any new warrant on old cases until the election was over.
He also alleged that ruling party-backed councillors and law enforcement officials were also threatened them that cases will be filed against them if they do not withdraw candidacies.
“We have urged them to take steps so that councillor candidates are not threatened. He [returning officer] also assured us of that,” said Ishraque, son of late BNP vice-chairman and former mayor of undivided Dhaka City Corporation Sadeque Hossain Khoka.
On the other hand, Jhulhas Uddin, on behalf of BNP’s Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) mayoral candidate Tabith Awal, submitted a written complaint to Returning Officer Abul Kashem in the afternoon.
In his complaint, Tabith said Awami League’s DNCC mayoral candidate Atiqul Islam held a meeting with his supporters at Gulshan Park in the morning using loudspeakers and sound system, where he sought vote for him violating the electoral code of conduct.
Tabith also presented some video clips in support of his allegation.
He also said the Election Commission will not be able to earn people’s confidence if it fails to ensure a level-playing field.
Returning Office Kashem said they received the compliant, and will send it to the executive magistrate of the area concerned.
He said they will take necessary legal action after assessing the allegation.