BNP senior leader Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain on Wednesday alleged that it is the Awami League, not BNP, which has hired about 30 lakh its ‘armed activists’ from outside the capital ahead of the elections to two Dhaka City corporations.
Speaking at a press conference at the house of BNP’s Dhaka South City Corporation mayoral runner Ishraque Hossain, he also said Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader’s allegation over “hiring criminals and gunmen” by BNP is absurd.
“It’s nearly impossible for us to hire people from outside and collect arms while it is known to all that BNP’s candidates and workers can’t even remain stay in their houses due to various activities by the police. So, it’s (Quader’s comment) ridiculous,” the BNP leader said.
On Tuesday, Obaidul Quader accused BNP of “hiring criminals and gunmen” from outside Dhaka ahead of the Dhaka city polls.
In a counter attack, Mosharraf, a BNP standing committee member, said, “We know Awami League has brought around its 30 lakh leaders and activists with arms to Dhaka city from outside.”
He said the ruling party activists dare come to Dhaka with arms as law enforcers do not take action against them. “So, they (AL) did it (hiring people from outside) and brought such allegation against BNP in advance.”
The BNP leader also claimed that their party’s candidates will win with 80 percent votes if only people can cast their votes.
He warned that the Election Commission (EC) will be held responsible if the election is turned into a farce.
Mosharraf, also the convener of BNP’s DSCC election steering team, alleged that the EC still could not ensure a level-playing field as their party’s leaders and activists are being harassed and intimidated.
Ishraque called upon voters to go to polling stations on February 1, braving any type of barrier and intimidation.
“I would like to urge the voters to go to voting centers without any fear. You’ll go to the polling stations, ignoring any threat, intimidation and the fear of cases,” the BNP candidate said.
BNP standing committee members Mirza Abbas, Iqbal Hasan Mahmud Tuku, vice chairmen Abdullah Al Noman and Netai Roy Chowdhury were, among others, present.
After the press conference, Ishraque started his election campaign from in front of Bangshal Jubo Dal’s office.
In a brief address there, he said no one will be able to thwart the victory of “Sheaf of Paddy, the election symbol of BNP, as a mass wave has created in favour of it.
The BNP candidate said people are eagerly waiting to cast their votes as mark of their protest against the government’s repressive activities.
He later conducted electioneering in Sutrapur, Gendaria, Wari, Kotwali, Tanti Bazar, Roysaheber Bazar, Dholaikhal, Natun Rasta, Sautrapur, Laxmibazar, and Jagannath University areas.