By-polls: BNP announces 2-day protest programme

BNP on Friday announced a two-day demonstration programme demanding the cancellation of the results of by-elections to Dhaka-18 and Sirajganj-1 constituencies, and protesting the arrest of its leaders and activists in ‘false’ cases.

As part of the programmes, the party will stage a demonstration in front of the Jatiya Press Club on Saturday and its leaders and activists will hold a similar programme in every district town on Sunday.

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir announced the programmes at a press conference at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office.

“All of you saw that 200-500 people from outside areas took a position in front of every polling station during yesterday’s (Thursday’s) by-polls and they bet people who went to cast votes. The Election Commission and those who are running the country could not ensure a normal election system and a minimum scope for giving votes. The biggest thing is that police have abetted those carried out such misdeeds,” he said.

The BNP leader said Awami League is resorting to various tactics ad lies to justify the by-polls. “But in no way, this election can be acceptable.”

Fakhrul said the government agents torched some vehicles in the capital on Thursday, but the government filed cases against BNP leaders and activists, including standing committee member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy. “We strongly protest and condemn it.”

He alleged that police picked up many BNP leaders and activists and raided the houses of many others on Thursday night following the vehicle torching incidents.

“What happened yesterday (Thursday) is a nasty thing. Such incidents do not help the democratic environment, they harm it instead. As far as we know, a TV channel has reported that an activist of Chhatra League was arrested in connection with such incidents who admitted that he was hired by Awami League men by giving money. The news has also been spread on social media,” the BNP leader claimed.

He said the incidents were carried out to divert people’s attention to a different direction from the ‘deceptive and rigged’ by-polls that can no way be called an election. This is undoubtedly a plan of the government to destroy the electoral process and establish a one-party governing system in the country.”

Speaking at the press conference, BNP leader Aman Ullah Aman and Ruhul Kuddus Talukder Dulu described who the ruling party men droved out the agents of BNP candidates from the polling stations, obstructed voters and indulged in various irregularities during Thursday’s voting in the two parliamentary seats.