BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia on Saturday night said ruling party men forced the BNP-blessed candidates to boycott Tuesday’s city polls by driving out their agents, capturing polling stations and intimidating opposition men sensing their massive debacle.“They (AL) understood they would face a massive debacle in the polls. That’s why, the ruling party cadres within hours of the start of voting drove our agents out of all the polling stations and terrorized voters. The Election Commission did nothing to this end. We had no alternative to boycotting the polls. Our candidates couldn’t stay in the polls only to hear the results of the rigged polls,” a lawyer quoted Khaleda as telling them at a meeting.
The BNP chief had a closed-door meeting with the leaders of Jatiyatabadi Ainjibi Forum, a platform of pro-BNP lawyers, at her Gulshan office.
Moudud Ahmed, Jamiruddin Sircar, Dr. Abdul Moyeen Khan, Abdur Reaazk Khan, Shahjahan Omar, AJ Mohammad Ali, Joynul Abedin, Ahmed Azam Khan, Mahbubuddin Khokon, Nitai Roy Chowdhury, Sanaullah Miah, Masud Ahmed Talukder and Khorshed Alam, among others, joined the meeting.
“The BNP-backed mayoral and councillor candidates (in Dhaka North, South and Chittagong city corporation elections) would have got landslide victories had the election been free and fair,” Ahmed Aazam Khan, quoted Khaleda as saying.
Aazam, also an adviser to Khaleda, said people and the international community would have misunderstood BNP had the party not joined the city polls. “But now they have realised why we didn’t take part in the January-5 elections.”
Another pro-BNP lawyer, Sanaullah Miah, said the BNP chief told them that the vote rigging and capturing of polling stations by the ruling party men have once again proved that their decision of not joining the national election was the right one. “It has also been proved that free, fair and inclusive elections aren’t possible under the present government.”
Khaleda urged the lawyers to work together to ensure victory of the Jatiyatabadi Ainjibi Forum in the upcoming Bangladesh Bar Council polls billed for May 20. – UNB