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Vote boycott creeps into BNP’s mind again!
Upset at the ‘widespread election irregularities, vote fraud and violence’ in the first two phases of Union Parishad polls, BNP is likely going to boycott the remaining elections to the lowest tier of the local body.
Party insiders hinted that BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia will take the final decision in this regard within this week in consultation with its senior leaders, reports UNB.
They said there are differences of opinion among the party leaders over the decision to boycott the polls. Some leaders think BNP is not being benefited from joining the election as it is making party men frustrated and making them financially losers, while others feel that their demand for restoration of non-party caretaker government is getting louder with the present election situation.
Around 30 people were killed and several hundred others injured in the two phases of the elections to 1354 UPs held on March 19 and March 31. BNP-nominated candidates won the polls in around 105 chairman posts in the two phases. The party claimed that the elections were marred by vote rigging, capturing of polling stations and widespread violence.
Contacted, BNP standing committee member Lt Gen (retd) Mahbubur Rahman said the UP election has become meaningless as the Election Commission has failed to ensure a minimum level of credibility and fairness in the election.
“Instead of presenting the nation a fair and peaceful election, the EC is providing the nation with human corpses and violence and vote rigging. So, such election should be stopped right away,” he said.
If the government keeps on holding the election, the BNP leader said, their party should boycott it. “I don’t find any reason for BNP to be there in the race of the highly flawed, lopsided, violent election. A war-like situation has been prevailing across the country over the polls.”
He said BNP senior leaders are now thinking to revise their decision of joining the next phases of the election. “I don’t think party is getting anything positive from such ‘lopsided’ election.
BNP chairperson’s adviser Shamsuzzaman Dudu said there’s a discussion among the party senior leaders whether their party should remain in the election or quit it right now. “I hope our chairperson will immediately talk to the party leaders over the issue and take a final decision about it,” he told UNB.
Dudu, however, said he personally thinks BNP should not boycott the election as it is creating a strong anti-government sentiment among people alongside re-justifying their demand for a non-party administration to hold a fair and credible national election.
BNP assistant office secretary and a member of party’s election monitoring cell Emran Saleh Prince said while the ruling party men are snatching the victory of their candidates through resorting to terrorism and using muscle power, BNP should not stay in the polls fray only to legalise it.
He said many party men are now in favour of boycotting the polls. “We wouldn’t have thought about boycotting the election, if the elections had been at least fifty percent fair.”
Another BNP leader close to Khaleda, who wished not to be named, said Khaleda Zia has already discussed with some BNP leaders about boycotting the rest of the staggered UP polls.
He said the BNP chief asked party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir to discuss the issue with some other senior leaders. “The decision will be finalised within this week.”
BNP vice chairman Shah Mozzem also suggested party chairperson to boycott the UP polls to avert the humiliation of the sheaf of paddy, the party’s election symbol.
“Is it voting or boating? Why are you (Khaleda) there in it? I think we should boycott the rest phases of the polls. It won’t be a right decision to stay there in the polls any more. Our party symbol has been disgraced with it,” he told a discussion at the Jatiya Press Club on Friday.