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EC main barrier to fair polls: BNP

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Staff Reporter
BNP said the current Election Commission (EC) is the main barrier to holding free, fair and neutral polls for its ‘subservient’ role.
“The Election Commission is under the absolute control of the executive (branch). They (EC) are the main obstacle to holding free, fair and impartial upazila polls,” party joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said yesterday.
The BNP leader made the remarks while addressing a press briefing at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office.
Rizvi also criticized the EC for what he said its failure to check vote fraud and irregularities during upazila polls. “How come the ruling party cadres cast fake votes capturing voting centers while the army and others striking forces are deployed under the commission?”
He alleged that the government is desperate to manipulate the results of the remaining phases of the upazila polls into their favor by resorting to terrorism and vote fraud with the help of its puppet Election Commission.
“The third phase of the upazila election will be held on March 15. The ruling party couldn’t change the results of the last two phases of the polls in their favor despite indulging in widespread capture of polling stations and snatching ballots. “They’re out there again to repeat it in the upcoming upazila polls,” the BNP leader feared.
He said the government with the help of law enforcers and local administration is harassing the pro-opposition candidates and their supporters at different parts of the country, including Bhola Sadar, Monpura, Laxmipur Sadar, Netrakona Sadar, Mymensingh’s Muktagachha, Chapainawabganj Sadar, Jamalpur’s Dewanganj and Sibganj, by filing ‘false’ cases against them, raiding their houses and arresting them in a bid to manipulate the polls.
Rizvi also denounced the cancellation of bail for top BNP leaders, including its acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
“The government has turned the entire country into a virtual prison through the wholesale arrest of opposition leaders and activists and resorting to repressive acts. The victims don’t get help from the administration as officials behave like party cadres,” he alleged.

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