Published : Wednesday, 29 April, 2015, Time : 12:00 AM, View Count : 14
Staff Correspondent The ruling Awami League on Tuesday termed the boycott of elections by Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) in three city corporations pre-planned. It claimed the elections ended peacefully. Awami League Joint General Secretary Mahbub-Ul Alam Hanif made these remarks at a press conference at party President Sheikh Hasina's political office at Dhanmondi in the city. "As part of an evil design BNP had joined the city polls and such design was reflected in choosing its candidates. It appeared that BNP did not field them for winning the polls," Hanif observed. Terming the election boycott a part of dramatic fashion, Hanif said the BNP stepped away from the city polls sensing its defeat for sure and to find an issue for movement. "It was part of their pre-designed conspiracy. They are trying to create new issues through this," he claimed. "Even they did not provide any polling agent in vote centres," he added. Hanif also claimed, "The BNP staged a drama to boycott this election. They have no specific allegation. They were not able to cite a single case of irregularities," The AL leader said that the BNP chairperson had earlier tried to create instability in the name of election campaign and through the so-called movement in last three months of non-stop blockade and hartals. Mentioning that allegations made by BNP leader Moudud Ahmed over polls were fabricated and baseless, Hanif said, "Voting suspended in one polling station on allegations of irregularities." Earlier, the BNP alleged massive rigging and pulled out while the elections were being held in Chittagong and Dhaka city corporations. In a press briefing at noon immediately after the BNP announced boycott of the city polls, Hanif called upon voters to cast their votes. Hanif said, "The elections are being held peacefully. So go and cast your vote in this festive environment." Terming Khaleda's allegations false, Hanif alleged that BNP's quit from the race was pre-planned and it withdrew candidates from city elections to create another issue. On the other hand, in a separate press conference, Agriculture and Co-Operative Affairs Secretary Dr Abdur Razzak said, "BNP even failed to provide polling agents and we didn't see any of their workers outside the polling centres. They boycotted the polls realizing the people were not with them." Razzak, the chief coordinator of Dhaka South mayor candidate Sayeed Khokon, gave the reactions at a press briefing at Bangabandhu Avenue after the BNP announced boycott of the city polls. Refuting BNP's allegation that BNP's polling agents were ousted from the centres, Razzak said, "BNP is so detached from the masses, that they didn't even find people to assign as their polling agents. How their polling agents were forced out when they failed to provide polling agents?" he questioned. About the BNP's allegation of vote rigging, Razzak said, "BNP has no public support. No scope of rigging is there, if any party has the public support."