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2 April, 2016 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 2 April, 2016 12:47:38 AM
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BNP may pull out from next phases of UP polls

Party alleges massive rigging, violence in the first 2 phases of voting
RAFIQUL ISLAM AZAD

The BNP may not take part in the union parishad (UP) elections from the next phase, alleging rigging and stuffing of ballot boxes. Party leaders also said that many candidates were prevented from filing nomination.
The party does not find any logic behind taking part in the elections further, as there is no spirit of festivity in the polls but only bloodbath, they said.
The party high command is weighing the situation and may take a decision soon in the light of the widespread violence and rigging, the leaders added.
“It has become a matter of concern for us as whether the party should be in the race for the UP polls in the next phases because of rampant rigging and massive violence, said standing committee member Goyeshwar Chandra Roy.
Talking to The Independent yesterday (Friday), he said the BNP is ready to suffer defeat in fair polls, but cannot bow before manipulation through violence.
The BNP leader alleged that people cannot exercise their franchise. But the government is claiming that the polls are being conducted successfully, and so is the Election Commission.
“So, the question arises as to whether we should continue to participate in the polls. We must consider our participation,” he said.
Another standing committee member, Lt Gen (Retd) Mahbubur Rahman, said they cannot consider it as a proper election. It has turned into a bloodbath where many are dying.
“I think the BNP should quit the polls. The party is also deeply considering whether we should be a part of the election, considering the gravity of the situation,” he said.
He held the Chief Election Commissioner responsible for the bloodbath and killing of people, including children and women.
The BNP leader questioned acceptance of the UP polls amid bloodbath and killing of children and women. “What is the reason for holding the elections and for whom are they being held,” he asked, and added: “I will hold the EC and CEC responsible for this."
Speaking at a function at the Jatiya Press Club yesterday, BNP vice-chairman Shah Moazzem Hossain said the party should refrain from participating in the next phase of the UP polls.
“The party’s election symbol, ‘sheaf of paddy’ is being undermined by participating in the elections when polling centres are being taken over and ruling party cadres are killing people and carrying out attacks on homes,” he observed.
BNP joint secretary Mohammad Shajahan said the elections have turned into a “festival of terror” instead of enthusiasm and festivity.
He said the EC and the administration refused to accept their allegations and take punitive action against people involved in violence and rigging.
The leader said ruling party candidates apparently “won” before the elections were held and were seen celebrating.
“Thus, we have to consider whether we should take part in the polls further,” he said.
The BNP assistant publicity secretary, Imran Saleh Prince, said they have told the EC that the polls have turned into a farce. “We will withdraw our candidates if the party decides to pull out from the polls,” he added. The third phase of the UP polls, out of six, will be held on April 23.
The first phase was held on March 22 and the second on March 31. On the two days, the BNP candidates claimed that they were denied victory as ruling party men resorted to massive violence and rigging. Awami League leaders and the CEC, however, claimed that the UP elections have been held in a free and fair manner.
Meanwhile, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has alleged that the ruling party is now out to hold the country’s people ‘hostage using muscle power’, reports UNB.
“Though Awami League talks about democracy, it hardly cares about democratic principles. It wants to establish its supremacy with terrorism and keep people hostage by using muscle power,” the BNP leader said in a statement.
The statement was issued condemning the attacks on Jamalpur’s Durmut Union existing chairman and BNP president Rasheduzzaman Apu, his son and brother’s house by ruling party men over Union Parishad polls.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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