Dr Kamal Hossain-led Jatiya Oikyafront on Thursday warned that their alliance will file a case against the government and the Election Commission (EC) if they try to use the electronic voting machine (EVM) in the upcoming national election without amending the Constitution.
“We would like to clearly say it’ll be the violation of constitution and an offence of treason if EVM is used in the election. Jatiya Oikyafront, led by our leader Dr Kamal Hossain will file a case if they try to use the EVM in the election,” said Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) President ASM Abdur Rob.
He came up with the warning at a seminar titled ‘Secure Your Vote and Say no to EVM’ arranged by Jatiya Oikyafront at a city hotel.“You (EC) can’t use EVM as we together with people and voters won’t allow you to do that,” Rob added.
Referring to the Constitution’s article 65 (B), he said it is clearly mentioned that parliament will be formed with people’s direct votes. Direct vote is not possible by machine. So, the questionable EVM doesn’t fulfill the condition of direct vote.”The JSD president said EVM cannot be used without amending the Constitution as it is also a constitutional obligation to keep the all electoral processes–from casting vote to counting it–open to people.”
He questioned as to why the EC is so adamant about using EVM while the country’s most political parties, voters and people are against its use.Rob said the Commission is trying to use the EVM to justify the procuring of a Tk 10,000 worth EVM at Tk 2 lakh. He also said the ruling party wants the use of the voting machine to rig vote. “But we won’t allow you to use it.”
The JSD president also warned that the EC and the ruling party men will have to go to jail when a case will be filed against the unconstitutional use of EVM. “The country’s 18 crore people won’t spare you.”BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said the government is resorting to various tricks to forcibly return to power as it has no confidence in people.
He, however, said their party together with people will join the polls and engage in a battle of ballots on the election day.“We and the nation will take part in the election. People must carry out a struggle to reflect their verdict through the polls, and nothing can resist them,” Fakhrul said.
He also said people are ready to stage a vote revolution putting in their all-out efforts. Fakhrul said they are joining the election in a situation when their many party candidates are in jail. “Even, our many nomination seekers were arrested on their way to attend interview of our nomination board.”
Krishak Sramik Janata League president Kader Siddiqui said he is in doubt whether the ruling party men can go to polling stations because of possible of public wraths. He said the Oikyafront should organise more seminars on EVM use at different parts of the country to make people aware and courageous to resist it.
Gono Forum’s executive president Subrata Chowdhury said the main motive behind the move to use EVM in the election is to rig votes.He warned that any attempt to rig votes will only invite dire consequences, and people will never forgive the government for taking such a move.
BNP standing committee members Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan, Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury, Nagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna and Gonoshasthya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury were, among others, spoke at the programme. A group of pro-BNP engineers made a presentation at the seminar depicting various ways and means by which the election results can be manipulated through EVMs.