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BNP’s JS poll boycott ‘a big political mistake’: Ashraf

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Staff Reporter
Awami League general secretary and LGRD minister Syed Ashraful Islam on Sunday said the BNP made a big political mistake by not joining the January 5 parliamentary elections.
It will take a long time for the party to recover from the mistake, he told reporters at the Election Commission Secretariat after submitting 41 names of AL-led six party parliamentary alliance’s candidates for reserves seats in parliament to the returning officer.
Replying to a query, Ashraf said, “It was a big political mistake of BNP. The party’s leaders-activists have not accepted the decision of BNP. It should not have boycotted the election at any cost.
“BNP had no reason to boycott the election and they have lost by boycotting the polls. It’ll take a long time for the party to recover from the losses. It is in no way accepted,” he said.
The AL general secretary said AL had not joined the elections once or twice. The party had participated in elections in 1979, 1982 and 1986 under military regimes.
AL had joined the election even under the military regimes of Pakistan. It participated in election under Ayub Khan and Yahya Khan.
About the upazila elections, he said, “We’re very glad that the local government election is being held in a free and credible manner. It’s a great success for this government that the election is being held in free, fair and credible manner.”
Over election of reserved parliamentary seats, he hoped that the polls to the reserved seats will not be needed in the future and the women will be MPs through direct election.
“Our target is that the women will come to Parliament through direct election in at least 20 percent of its seats. We’re working towards this goal,” Ashraf said.
Syed Ashraful Islam led an AL delegation during submission of a list of the AL-led six-party alliance’s candidates to the commission.
50 aspirants - 41 aspirants from the AL-led alliance, six from HM Ershad-led Jatiya Party and three from the alliance of independent MPs submitted their nomination papers to the returning officers on the scheduled date of Sunday.

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