Rigging in city polls justifies caretaker govt demand: BNP

Logo of BNP
Logo of BNP

The opposition BNP has worked out 'strategies' to apply in Monday's elections to three city corporations to ensure presence of its polling agents and encourage party supporters to cast their votes 'braving all odds'.

The BNP leaders, reports UNB, came up with the strategies following civic polls in Khulna and Gazipur where, the party allegedly, it lost to massive rigging.

Some party senior leaders said they will in no way engage themselves in any violence in the polls as they have worked out plans to face any unwanted situation tactfully instead of applying force.

If their plans do not work and the elections are not held in a free and fair manner, they said, it will only justify further their demand for holding the next general election under a non-party and neutral administration.

As part of their strategies, party leaders said they have formed centre-based committees and appointed those as polling agents who are influential and active in their areas so that they can go to the polling stations.

Besides, they said, a group of their party leaders and activists will take position near polling stations to prevent the ouster of their party's polling agents and obstructing voters.

Another group will visit the houses of party supporters to encourage female voters to go to voting centres.

The BNP leaders said they have trained their polling agents and given them various directions about facing any unwarranted situation and check vote frauds.

They also said the polling agents of their party backed-councillor candidates are also given direction to work for mayoral candidates, if necessary.

When contacted, BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf said the government is ready to hold the elections to Rajshahi, Sylhet and Barishal applying the Gazipur and Khulna-election model to ensure the victory of the ruling party candidates.

"We'll try to resist their evil designs with our strategies and together with people," he added.

BNP vice chairman Shamsuzzaman Dudu said they have a plan to put up a peaceful resistance together with people against vote rigging and election irregularities. "We'll apply some strategies, but we won't be able to fight with law enforcers as they have arms."

He said if the elections are not held in a fair and credible manner, the true face of the current government and the EC will get exposed again before people just months before the national election.

BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said though there is no 'visible sign' of fair voting in the three cities, BNP candidates and supporters will remain out there in the field till the last moment of the polling.

He said they fear that the ruling party will try to influence the polls by using the law enforcers. "If it happens, the Election Commission will have to be accountable to people."

BNP joint secretary general Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal said police and the EC are the main opponents of BNP, not of Awami League, in the three city polls. "Our main concern is what will be the role of police and the EC. We've enough strength to tackle our political opponents. But it's difficult to fight law enforcers and state machinery."

He, however, said their party leaders and activists will be there in the field braving all the obstacles. "We've taken some strategies so that the three city polls are not held in Gazipur and Khulna style. If our plans work well, we'll apply those in the general election."