BNP-backed Dhaka North mayoral candidate Tabith Awal terms elections as farce
Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
Published: 2015-04-28 20:12:21.0 BdST Updated: 2015-04-28 21:08:03.0 BdST
BNP-backed Dhaka North mayoral candidate Tabith Awal has pulled out of the election, terming it a ‘joke’.
“What is the purpose of voting? It has turned into a Joke,” he told journalists on Tuesday.
Afroza Abbas, wife of the BNP-backed Dhaka South mayoral candidate Mirza Abbas, said voters were denied their right to vote.
M Manjur Alam, whom BNP supported in Chittagong, also labelled the similar allegation.
Pro-BNP Adarsha Dhaka Andolan, which was formed to support civic polls candidates, said what had happened on Tuesday, could not be called ‘polling’.
But on Tuesday the party brought allegation of large-scale rigging and announced to boycott the polls to the three city corporations in Dhaka and Chittagong when the voting was underway.
Ruling Awami League leaders claim that the elections were fair and BNP boycotted the polls realising that the candidates it supported would lose.
BNP-backed mayor candidate of Dhaka North City Corporation Tabith Awal shared his experience of visiting some polling centres at the press conference, where the party announced to boycott the polls.
“I did not see anyone other than the ruling party-backed candidates and the agents of their councillor aspirants. Our agents were chased off,” he alleged.
In front of Tejgaon College centre, Tabith claimed, he saw the badge of his polling agent was being torn apart. “I did not get any answer when I went inside.”
“There was no police at the gates of the centres. Pro-government activists brought from in and outside Dhaka city were controlling entry to the centres. I did not see any environment for voting,” he said.
The BNP-backed candidate further alleged that even he faced resistance at some centres.
Adarsha Dhaka Andolon Convenor Emajuddin Ahmed told a press conference at Naya Paltan: “I’ve seen many polls in my life, but never seen such an inferior, hateful and loathsome election.”
“It cannot be called an election. It was a drill of casting vote using force,” he said.
The former Dhaka University vice chancellor went to Dhaka College poling centre along with his son and granddaughter to cast their votes.
He faced heated barbs while coming out of the centre.
“A student of Dhaka College asked me, ‘you burn people to death. Don’t you feel ashamed? Now you’ve come here to cast vote,” he said.
Ahmed, an adviser to BNP chief Khaleda Zia, said the student had broken his car’s window hurling a stone.
He said the objective for which they participated in the polls had failed.
“We participated in the polls to come out of the situation which is prevailing for last 3-4 years. Begum Zia also supported us. Our aim was to bring back democracy to Bangladesh,” Ahmed said.
“But seeing the vote rigging, we think our aim has failed.”
He claimed that the Election Commission ‘has completely failed’ to conduct the polls in a free and neutral manner.
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