Published : Wednesday, 29 April, 2015, Time : 12:00 AM, View Count : 16
Staff Correspondent BNP-supported mayoral candidates boycotted elections to the three city corporations-Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) and Chittagong City Corporation (CCC). They alleged that there were massive vote rigging and the ruling party men captured many polling stations. The decision on the boycott was announced by DNCC mayoral candidate Tabith Awal and DSCC candidate Mirza Abbas's wife Afroza Abbas at a press briefing at the BNP's central office in the city's Naya Paltan area on Tuesday. BNP Standing Committee member Barrister Moudud Ahmed said, "This is not an election. They (supporters of the ruling party-backed candidates) are voting for themselves by occupying centres. We reject this ballot." "We have come to realise that a huge number of police, RAB and BGB personnel were deployed only to help the ruling party men to secure victory without people's participation," the BNP leader said. Moudud claimed that the city elections proved that no free and fair election is possible under the government and the people had lost their voting rights. "Our fears have come true. They (the government) have made polling meaningless, let alone a fair election," he said. The former law minister claimed that polling agents of BNP-supported candidates were not allowed enter almost all the voting centres in two Dhaka city corporations. "Those who entered were thrown out only half an hour after the start of voting while many of them were arrested by police," he alleged. Afroza Abbas claimed that police and ruling party activists had barred polling agents of her husband from manning 35 centres. Tabith Awal alleged that his agents were beaten up and forced out of polling stations in most of the voting centres. He filed a complaint with the presiding officer of Tejgaon College centre two hours into voting. Tabith showed a torn-up badge of one of his agents. "There's no environment for voting," he told the press conference. Earlier, BNP-supported Chittagong mayor candidate M Manjur Alam pulled out of the polls raising similar allegations. The announcement came at an impromptu press briefing convened at his main election office at Dewanhat in Chittagong at 11:20am. "My polling agents have been ousted from different centres," the former city mayor said. M Manjur Alam also said he contested in the CCC polls for councillor and mayor's office for six times, adding: "I have no wish to take part in election anymore. I'm quitting politics forever."