A delegation of BNP’s parliamentary party Monday demanded the Election Commission (EC) take immediate action against Hossain Monsur, chairman of Petrobangla, for violating electoral codes when he inaugurated gas pipeline connections in Rajshahi, a week before the city corporation goes to polls.
The EC said the returning officer of Rajshahi has already sent show-cause notices to the Petrobangla chief and its Rajshahi general manager.
The opposition delegation wants army to be deployed for ensure the city corporations elections to be held in Rajshahi, Khulna, Barisal and Sylhet are free, fair and impartial.
Polls for the Rajshahi City Corporation will be held on June 15.
BNP joint secretary general and MP AM Mahbub Uddin Khokon led a seven- member team comprising Abdul Momin Talukder, ZIM Mostafa Ali, AKM Hafizur Rahman, Golam Mostafa, Rehana Akter Ranu and Syeda Asifa Ashrafi Papia to formally submit allegations against the Petrobangla chairman to the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC).
Afterwards Khokon told reporters the chairman’s presence at the inauguration programme on June 7 meant he was “campaigning on behalf of the Awami League-backed mayoral candidate.” He said it was a direct violation of the electoral code of conduct.
However Khokon said the AL-backed candidate Khairuzzaman Liton was not present when the Petrobangla chairman was at the inauguration event, but another ruling party lawmaker Fazle Hossain Badsha sought support for the mayoral candidate.
CEC Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad said: “I talked to the Rajshahi returning officer who said he has already issued show-cause notice to the chairman of Petrobangla and general manager of Petrobangla in Rajshahi. The EC would take initiative after getting response of the notices.”
He said the situation didn’t need the army to be deployed during the city corporation polls, instead the EC would ensure adequate numbers of law enforcement personnel to maintain law and order during the polls were there.
The CEC said if needed the EC and the army were ready to act at anytime.
Khokon said the allegation against the Petrobangla chief was not submitted just on behalf of the BNP.
He said: “We came to the EC on behalf of the [BNP’s] parliamentary party. I came as a citizen of the country. The BNP did not nominate any candidates in these city corporation polls, we just support them.”
The delegation also submitted written allegations by Tofazzal Hossain Topu, the election agent of the mayoral candidate Mosaddek Hossain supported by the BNP to the CEC.
An EC source told the Dhaka Tribune there is no provision for submitting allegations on behalf of a political party because the city corporation polls are meant to be non-partisan. “So, there is no chance to consider the allegations placed on behalf of any political party,” he said.