Sunday, June 23, 2024

Alamgir alleges plan to rig GCC poll, warns of stir

The BNP’s acting secretary general, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, has warned of an intense movement if rigging takes place in the Gazipur City Corporation (GCC) election on Saturday. “The government is planning to rig the GCC poll. We want to make it clear that if that happens a movement will be launched to topple the Awami League-led government,” Alamgir, also the Opposition spokesperson, said.
He was addressing a programme organised by the Shadhinata Forum at the National Press Club on Friday. Iterating his party’s demand for army deployment during the GCC poll, Alamgir said the BNP has never made any controversial statement against the army. The Awami League has done that several times. The Awami League’s presidium member, Tofail Ahmed, said on Thursday that the BNP wants to create a controversy involving the armed forces, and so it is
talking about deploying the army for the GCC poll.
Rejecting the ruling party’s charge, Alamgir said: “The Awami League makes controversial speeches against the army, but now it is showing sympathy as it wants to use the armed forces for its petty political interest.”
It may be pointed out that the BNP-led alliance-backed candidate, MA Mannan, and the Awami League-led alliance’s  candidate, Azmat Ullah Khan, are contesting for the GCC mayor’s post, apart from other candidates.
“The Awami League has drawn up plans to rig the GCC poll. Its mission will be foiled if the army is deployed,” Alamgir said.
The BNP leader said the ruling party has gathered a good number of musclemen in the Gazipur area. They are spending a huge amount of money to influence voters in favour of the ruling party-backed mayoral candidate. The local administration too is engaged in working in favour of the AL. In this situation, army deployment is a must to ensure a free and fair election, he added. He urged the Election Commission (EC) to meet his party’s demand. The EC will be held responsible if the demand is ignored and any untoward incident takes places during the GCC poll, he added.
The Awami League has become desperate after its debacle in the four city corporation elections held recently, he said. “It rigged the Kishoreganj-4 by-election on Wednesday. This indicates that the GCC poll would not be held in a free, fair and impartial manner,” he said.
Alamgir said the Awami League has become isolated from the people, as the country’s economy and congenial political atmosphere have been destroyed by it.
BNP leaders Iqubal Hasan Mahmud Tuku and others spoke on the occasion. The meeting was presided over by Abu Naser Mohammad Rahmantullah, president of the Forum.
At a separate event, the BNP’s standing committee member, Moudud Ahmed, said a free and fair general election will not be possible under the ruling party.
“The government’s recent attitude towards the Opposition proves that no fair and impartial poll can be held under it. We will refrain from taking part in the next general election if the non-party caretaker government system is not restored to the Constitution,” he said.
He was addressing a discussion on the present political situation and nationalist politics, organised by the People’s Party at the National Press Club.
Besides, the BNP’s office secretary, Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, has urged the authorities concerned to count the votes of the GCC election and make the results public soon after.
“We’ve come to know that the GCC poll results will be made public at about 11 am on Sunday. The results may be manipulated if this is done. We urge the EC to refrain from such a step,” he said.
Rizvi, also joint secretary general of the party, said a letter has been forwarded to the EC seeking army deployment during the GCC poll. “We expect that the EC will meet our demand in the interest of a free, fair and impartial poll,” he said.
BNP leaders Sanaullah Mia, Masud Ahmed Talukdar, Abdus Salam and others were present at the press briefing.

-With The Independent input

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