Awami League 'under attack'
Published: 2014-03-15 23:19:50.0 BdST Updated: 2014-03-15 23:19:50.0 BdST
The Awami League has countered the BNP’s charges of rigging votes claiming that it was the ruling party-backed candidates who had come under 'political and administrative attack' during the third phase of the Upazila elections.
The administration had played a neutral role and did not spare the ruling party-backed candidates, Awami League advisory committee member HT Imam said on Saturday.
He was briefing media at the party's Dhanmondi office about Awami League's views on the polls.
The third phase of elections was held in 81 Upazilas amid violence, hijacking of ballot boxes in several places and the deaths of two men.
The BNP alleged that the ruling party had a 'field day to rig polls'.
However, Imam, also the political advisor to the prime minister, said the polls were peaceful barring a few sporadic incidents.
“In many places Awami League-backed candidates came under political and administrative attack. The administration and law enforcers played a neutral role and did not even spare our candidates,” he claimed.
The BNP has been claiming that the victories of its candidates in a majority of chairman posts in the last two phases indicate people’s lack of confidence in the government.
Imam at the press conference came up with poll statistics to claim that the Awami League had in fact gained popularity.
“In the first phase the candidates the Awami League endorsed and the renegade received over 54 percent of the vote. In the second phase, 5.3 million votes out of the 10 million were cast in our favour,” he said.
“The BNP claims that results of Upazila polls indicate their popularity has increased. In fact it is the opposite,” he said.
He claimed the BNP's popularity had declined steadily due to incidents of violence since the May 5 Dhaka rally of Hifazat-e Islam last year.
Asked why the ruling party-backed candidates had lost if they got more votes, Imam said the Awami League had lost Upazilas to the BNP because of organisational weaknesses.
He said he believed it was natural for more than one ruling party candidates to vie for a seat, but emphasis should be given on ensuring victory of single candidate.
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