Accusing the ruling party of using the administration in the Chattogram City Corporation (CCC) polls, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Thursday said it is police, not Awami League, which has now become the main opponent of their party.
He also alleged that the Election Commission (EC) has turned into a front organisation of Awami League ‘losing its independent entity’.
"You’ve seen in the newspapers what happened in this (CCC) election. It’s a bloody election that left two people dead. BNP agents were not allowed to stay in polling stations and they’re driven out,” Fakhrul said.
He said, "The saddest thing is that the administration has now being fully used in every election. Awami League is no longer the opponent of BNP as the police administration has become its opponent.”
Fakhrul made the remarks while speaking at a programme at BNP Chairperson’s Gulshan office, marking Jatiya Party vice chairman and former whip Shawkat Chowdhury’s joining BNP.
Awami League’s mayoral candidate Rezaul Karim Chowdhury has been elected mayor unofficially by defeating BNP’s contender Dr Shahadat Hossain in CCC polls held on Wednesday amid violence and various irregularities. Rezaul bagged 369,248 votes while his rival Shahadat Hossain secured only 52,489 votes.
Fakhrul criticised the Election Commission for what he said playing a biased and partisan role in the election.
“There’s an election commission which is not a neutral one. This institution has now become subservient to the government and Awami League. "Basically, it’s turned into a front organisation of them," he observed.
Being a constitutional body, Fakhrul said, the EC’s responsibility is to conduct the election impartially and fairly. “Unfortunately, they’ve turned the parliamentary elections into a farce”
He also said Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda has no competence and ability to run the EC. "We’ve been saying repeatedly that this situation needs to be changed and the Election Commission and the government should resign immediately as they violated the constitution snatching the rights of people.”
Fakhrul said many people raise question about the justification of their party’s decision to join the election under the current government and EC. “We say that we join the polls as part of our democratic struggle. We can involve our leaders, workers and supporters in elections and reach out to people which we hardly can do other time… we take part in the polls to use the democratic space.”
He also said their party believes in transfer of power through elections, not in any other way. “BNP wants to go to power through elections with the support of the people.”
Fakhrul greeted Shawkat Chowdhury for joining BNP and hoped that he will lead the BNP leaders and activists at Saidpur in Nilphamari in the ongoing movement for democracy.
He said a greater unity of political parties under the leadership of BNP will be forged to remove the current government through a mass upsurge and establish a pro-people administration.