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Dhaka Tribune

BNP leaders question Election Commission’s role

Update : 12 Apr 2015, 07:11 PM

BNP leaders in Chittagong have blamed the Election Commission for ignoring their complaints regarding violations of electoral code of conduct by the ruling party’s ministers and lawmakers.

“The Election Commission centrally avoided the allegations against the ruling party ministers and lawmakers while we are contesting in the election in an adverse environment without a level playing field,” claimed BNP Vice-Chairman Abdullah Al Noman at a press conference in the port city yesterday.

BNP’s Chittagong city unit President Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, also the chief election agent of mayoral candidate M Manjur Alam, said no fair election could be possible in an unequal situation.

The words from the EC were yet to be reflected in the works done by the commission, claimed Khasru, who hosted the press briefing at his house.

The press conference was held protesting an attack – allegedly by Awami League supporters – on a canvassing drive by BNP’s central leader Syed Wahidul Alam and some BNP men in the city’s Sher Shah area on Saturday afternoon.

Also questioning the role of law enforcers, Noman said: “Police are arresting our leaders and activists without any allegation so that they cannot join in the election campaign.”

He also demanded the army be deployed a week before the city elections to ensure a free, fair, and neutral election.

His views were also echoed by Khasru, who said: “A group is trying to grab [control of] the election by force. They are trying to create a fearful environment so that the voters cannot go to the poll centres. They are doing this as they think they will not get public support.”

Meanwhile, the BNP lodged a case with Bayezid police station against local Awami League men Mehedi Hasan Badal, Moinuddin, and a further 50-60 unidentified men regarding Saturday’s attack, said the station’s Officer-in-Charge Babul Chandra Banik.

Khasru said they also lodged a complaint with the EC office in Chittagong. Following the complaint, Returning Officer MB Abdul Baten directed Chittagong Metropolitan Police Commissioner Abdul Jalil Mandal to take action in this regard within three days. 

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