The Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led alliance on Thursday urged the Election Commission to withdraw the ruling Awami League-nominated chairmen from management committees of educational institutes in 24 hours for a level-playing field in the polling stations.
The chairmen of the school managing committees leaning towards the Awami League might help election engineering as teachers of the schools would be on polling duties, said Liberal Democratic Party chairman Oli Ahmed at a briefing at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan Office.
Teachers of several schools in the capital told New Age on Thursday that lawmakers and their relatives were still heading the managing committees.
Lawmakers can hold the position of chairman on school managing committees but no position in the college governing bodies, a Dhaka education board official said.
In a written statement, Oli Ahmed alleged that the ‘brutal actions’ of the police on the nomination seekers and activists in front of BNP central office on Wednesday indicated that the government did not want the alliance to join the elections.
‘Police took no action against the Awami League nomination seekers although they grossly violated the electoral code of conduct.
He also alleged that they identified as Chhatra League activists who vandalised police vehicles wearing helmets on Wednesday.
He warned that the chief election commissioner and other election commissioners would need to face trial in future if they failed to maintain neutrality. ‘We are frustrated seeing inaction of the EC even though ministers and Hussain Muhammad Ershad are using state facilities in electioneering,’ Oli said.
He demanded release of Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson Khaleda Zia allowing her to campaign for the 11th parliamentary elections rescheduled for December 30.
He also demanded deferral of the polls schedule three weeks.
‘Prime minister’s promise to stop arrest of the political activists and filing of fictitious cases has not been kept. Police arrested many BNP activists even on Wednesday,’ BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan said at the briefing.
Leaders of the parties in the alliance were present.
At another press conference at BNP central office at Naya Paltan, senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi criticised the Election Commission for ‘playing a silent role’ over prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s violation of the electoral code of conduct by holding a meeting with 4,500 nomination seekers at her official residence Ganabhaban.
Election Commission secretary Helaluddin Ahmed said that instructions had already been passed to the authorities concerned asking for take necessary steps for a level playing field and strict enforcement of electoral rules.
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